For German Salafists, Leicester Is Open For Business

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Mohamed Belkaid

The German press announced a series of raids on Wednesday, February 8, aimed at two Algerian brothers, ages 32 and 39.  These brothers are accused of funneling money and material to Jabhat al-Nusrah and its variant organizations for years through the non-profit organization Medizin mit Herz, which sits in Hennef by Bonn.  Authorities have been aware of the group for some time and keep it under observation due to its known ties to the local Salafist scene. Continue reading

The Man from Malmö

Krayem

Naim al-Hamed first came to the attention of the general public on Friday, March 25 as the 28-year-old Syrian from Hama named as a suspect in Brussels bombings.  According to a report in Le Monde on Saturday, his DNA was found in the rue Max Roos apartment used by the known perpetrators of the attacks.  He arrived in Europe on September 20, 2015, with Mounir Ahmed Alaaj, aka Amine Choukri, aka Sofiane Ayari, the man who had fled the rue du Dries apartment with Abdeslam and was later caught with him at Abdeslam’s aunt’s apartment.  Al-Hamed and Ayari had confirmed contact with Abdeslam in Ulm, Germany, on the night 2-3 October 2015. Continue reading

The Perpetrators of the Belgian Bombings and Some Burning Questions

Here are the facts as they currently stand with respect to perpetrators of Tuesday’s attacks, and they are somewhat surprising if you’ve been paying attention.  At least four people were involved—three according to CCTV footage from Zaventem airport, and one at the metro station at Maelbeek.  Authorities have confirmed the identity of one of the bombers at the airport and the one who bombed the metro station.  They are the El Bakraoui brothers who the media had briefly speculated were the two individuals who had fled the raid in Forest, which kicked off the whole chain of events with respect to Salah Abdeslam’s capture and this week’s attack. Continue reading

The Capture of Salah Abdeslam

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As John Adams once said, “Facts are stubborn things.”  In the case of the Paris attacks, the facts are stubbornly hard to come by.  In the fast-moving events of the past few days, news outlets with “sources close to the investigation” have provided us with facts that have quickly turned out to be rumors, leaving us with more questions.  Some of this can be laid at the feet of the desire to be the first to break the news, but some of it can be attributed to the Islamic State’s ability to disguise and deceive.  We know who Salah Abdeslam is.  Some of the operatives he and Abaaoud brought into Europe we don’t seem to really know anything about. Continue reading

More on the Brussels Anti-Terror Raid

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El Bakraoui Brothers

When six anti-terror investigators went yesterday to the apartment at 60 Rue du Dries, they were not expecting any resistance.  The lease had been terminated and the water and electricity had been shut off long ago.  The search was being conducted to check false identities linked to the “entourage of the 11 Belgians charged in relation to the Paris killings”. Continue reading