On 18 September 2009, alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu Talha al-Almani (“The German”) implicitly threatened an attack on Germany within two weeks if Germany does not withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. Here is a rough translation of what Abu Talha said:
“For the Muslims in Germany I say, Peace and God’s mercy and blessing be upon you: My beloved brothers in God, al-Qaeda requests that you keep away from everything that is not necessary in the two weeks following the elections if the German people do not decide to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. Keep your children close to you during this time. Ask God to protect you, your children, and all the children.”
He went on to say, “To the people of Islam I say: My brothers in God! If the jihad in Germany begins, then leave al-Qaeda to work. If there were the need to move to the second level, then we will inform you of what you can do to participate in the German jihad. No matter how long the conflict lasts, the city of Kiel will remain safe. This is a promise from me.” A Faloja forum participant named Qaher commented on Abu Talha’s remarks and suggested that Kiel would not be attacked because of a new Islamic center located in the city.
Additionally, the video does not appear to be an official al-Qaida production. The beginning of the video states that it is an “al-Qaida statement”, something the organization generally does not do. Rather, the production entity will put its name on the very first section that warns others not to attach music to the video. The video also may indicate that Abu Talha is acting alone, since he noisily turned the pages of his speech while speaking instead of having someone turn cue cards.
While Abu Talha’s threat may be real, it is possible that he is operating either alone or in a very small group. The video is not up to normal al-Qaida standards, which may indicate that any attacks Abu Talha attempts to perpetrate will be equally sloppy and, hopefully, easier for security officials to prevent. It is also noteworthy that he promised not to attack Kiel. Perhaps he is from or has some connection to the city?