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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > U.S. Intelligence Tipped Germans Off About ISIS Hit Team Disquised As Syrian Asylum Seekers

U.S. Intelligence Tipped Germans Off About ISIS Hit Team Disquised As Syrian Asylum Seekers

October 4, 2016


It was on Tuesday September 13, 2016, just two days after the commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, that GSG 9, a special anti-terrorist unit of the German police, arrested three Syrian asylum seekers in refugee centers in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower-Saxony – near Hamburg, that is. The names of those who were arrested were revealed on September 13 in a press release from the German Federal Prosecutor (GBA). They were "17-year-old Syian national Mahir Al-H., 26-year-old Syrian national Mohamed A. and 18-year-old Syrian national Ibrahim M." But whether these are their real names and their real identities remains uncertain.

They used fake Syrian pasports and they were by no means the only ones who did so. Ahmad Al-Mohammad and Mohammad Al-Mahmod, two of the three ISIS suicide bombers who struck just outside a football stadium in Paris in November last year, were also carrying fake Syrian passports and they, too,arrived in Europe disguised a refugees. It later turned out, however, that they were not Syrians but Iraqi jihadists whose noms de guerre were respectively"Ali Al-Iraqi" and "Ukasha Al-Iraqi."

Mahir Al H., Mohamed A. and Ibrahim M. arrived in Germany on November 15, 2016, along with more than one million other asylum seekers from the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Africa, Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia.

The German weekly Focus claims that the German authorities have been tipped off by "a friendly American Intelligence Service." It would not have been the first time that the CIA tipped off the Germans about dangerous terror operatives on German soil. The members of the so-called "Sauerland Group" were arrested in September 2007. The online version of the German weekly Der Spiegel revealed on September 10, 2007: "With the help of the CIA, German investigators foiled what would likely have been the most devastating terror attack of its kind in the country's history. The plans of a fanatical group of Islamists trained in Pakistan reveal just how great a risk Europe faces." The National Security Agency (NSA) had intercepted suspicious emails between Germany and Pakistan. The group planned three major car bomb attacks in Germany. A courier had smuggled miltary detonators from Syria into Germany.

Our dear Edward Snowden in Moscow caused a lot of harm to the intelligence community in general. He is another traitor, just like Philip Agee was. Agee became one of the best foreign collaborators of the former Russian intelligence Service, the KGB. This was revealed by Vasili Mitrokhin, a former high ranking KGB officer who is co-author of the well-documented book The Mitrokhin Archive. Agee's codename inside the KGB was "PONT." There was also "Sergeant Jack Dunlop, known to like women and fast cars," Richard F. Staar writes in his 1991 study on Foreign Policies of the Soviet Union. Dunlop "was approached in Moscow and took money as a down payment for classified documents he stole from National Security Agency headquarters in the United States."

Former NSA employee Edward Snowden is now enjoying the personal protection of Russia's president Vladimir Putin. But Putin and his Syrian protege Bashar Al-Assad are war criminals, are they not?

But let us go back to those three "Syrian asylum seekers" who were arrested in Northern Germany on September 13. The online version of the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote that same day that "a foreign intelligence service" had succeeded in breaking the communication codes, the encrypted Internet chats, that is, between them and the high ranking ISIS operative in Syria who instructed them. "It was only then that investigators were able to grasp that this trio had really been sent by Islamic State and that they, after a ten months' stay in Germany, were still waiting for their instructions. Apparently, they were ready to strike."

The usually well-informed newspaper Bild writes that from the moment that they arrived in Germany, these three young men were monitored 24 hours a day, a very expensive operation.

Thomas de Mazière, Germany's federal Interior Minister, said at a press conference on September 13, 2016, that we were probably dealing with "a sleeper cell" ("Schläferzelle") and that there were close ties between that cell and the ISIS terrorists who struck in Paris in November 2015. "All three of themhad come to Europe with the assistace of the same migrant trafficking organization and their Syrian passports originated from the same workshop as was the case with the passports of the attackers in Paris," De Mazière said according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The same paper also wrote that all these terrorists had previously pledged loyalty to Sheikh Abu Mohamed Al-Adnani,who was not only the spokesman of ISIS but also their most important strategist. Adnani was in fact in charge of "foreign operations," terrorist attacks in Europe, North America, Australia and Turkey, that is. Adnani died after an American airstrike on the ISIS-controlled town of Al-Bab on August 30, 2016.

Focus magazine claims that those three men who were recently arrested in Northern Germany were also in touch with two Islamists who had been arrested in a refugee center in Salzburg. These ISIS operatives had also followed to so-called "Balkan Route," entering Euorpe in November 2015 on a refugee boat from Turkey loaded with refugees and then traveling through Greece,Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Austria.

ISIS Hit Teams secretly smuggled into Europe

In an exclusive interview with Bild on September 14, 2016, Interior Minister Thomas de Mazière, who is in charge of domestic security, said: "Terrorism threat today emanates from both hit teams from abroad and radicalized lone wolves in Germany. Hit teams are secretly smuggled into Europe and prepared their actions without being noticed, as we saw with the attacks in Paris and Brussels. However, it is harder to discover radicalized lone wolves than hit teams from abroad. They get radicalized with Islamist propaganda on the Internet or by hate preachers in backyard mosques. Unfortunately, both threats are very real."

He added that there over 520 "potential attackers" in Germany. "Potential attackers are people who give reason to believe that they are about to commit politically motivated crimes of significant importance." "Their number is higher than ever before!" De Mazière did not say, however, that most "potential attackers" are religiously motivated radicals – Muslim extremists, that is. There are also a number of dangerous neo-Nazis who are prepared to commit acts of terrorism.

De Mazière also mentioned the bitter lessons from the 9/11 attacks on the United States: "The fact that one of the key figures of the terror attacks on U.S. soil was able to plan the strike in Germany without being noticed was a huge shock. Immediately thereafter, security authorities carried out extensive changes to make sure this does not happen again." This referred to the leader of the "9/11 operation," Mohamed Atta, an Egyptian who graduated in Hamburg and who visited the extremely radical Al-Quds mosque in that city.

Atta was recruited by Al-Qaeda when he was still studying architecture in Hamburg. He also traveled to Afghanistan at the end of November 1999 and returned to Hamburg on February 25, 2000. While he was in Afghanistan he met Osama bin Laden, Khaled Sheikh Mohamed and two fellow Egyptians, namely Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Mohamed Atef. I wrote extensively about this in my Dutch book De Dodelijke Planning van Al-Qaida (Al-Qaeda's Deadly Planning) published in 2005 and reprinted in 2015. My information on Atta and the other 9/11 suicide pilots was based on German investigations. I saw these documents and reports long before the 9/11 commission had been granted access to it.

The online version of Bild reported on September 13, 2016, that the Federal Crime Agency (BKA) is currently investigating more than 400 cases of possible ISIS or Al-Nusra (=Al-Qaeda in Syria) operatives among the asylum seekers who arrived in Germany in 2015 and 2016. The same paper further quoted Thomas de Mazière who said at a press conference that preliminary proceedings have been initiated against 60 persons.

And they finally quoted Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Hermann who said: "Meanwhile, we know now that ISIS profited from lapses in our security system and smuggled terrorists disguised as asylum seekers into Europe." Hermann pleaded for much stricter border controls. "Persons whose identities cannot be ascertained, must be detained at the border until their identities have been clarified."

The problem, however, is that ISIS operatives succeeded in entering Europe byusing forged Syrian passports. Some of them were detected. Thanks to information provided by U.S. Intelligence the Germans were able to monitor Mahir Al-H., Mohamed A. and Ibrahim M. and arrest them on September 13, 2016.

The German Federal Prosecutor (GBA) issued a press release on that same day saying that these three terror suspects had been ordered by ISIS to travel to Germany where they arrived by mid-November 2015. There was "either a pre-planned mission or they were waiting for further instructions."

According GBA findings Mahir Al-H. joined ISIS at the latest at the end of September 2015 while he was in Raqqa, the so-called "capital" of the ISIS caliphate. Together with Mohamed A. and Ibrahim M.he pledged loyalty to a high level ISIS operative or "functionary" who was responsible for "foreign operations" (Adnani). They received a brief training on how to use weapons and explosives. They were then given fake Syrian passports and a substantial amount of American dollars as well as pre-programmed cell phones. Hating America does not necessarily mean that you also hate U.S. dollars or American technology.

Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands specialized in crime, terrorism and anti-Semitism.

Website: www.emersonvermaat.com


Der Generalbundesanwalt (GBA), Presse-Mitteilung, September 13, 2016, nr. 45, Festnahme dreier mutmasslicher Mitglieder der ausländischen terroristischen Vereinigung "Islamischer Staat,"


l'Express (Paris), January 20, 2016, Attentats de Paris: Daech (=ISIS., V.) diffuse une photo de 9 terroristes,


Focus, September 13, 2016, US-Geheimdienst lieferte Hineis auf Terror-Verdächtige,


Der Spiegel, September 10, 2007, Operation Alberich – How the CIA Helped Germany Foil Terror Plot,


Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive. The KGB in Europe and the West (London/New York: Allen Lane/The Penguin Press, 1999), pp. 300-305.

Richard F. Staar, Foreign Policies of the Soviet Union (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press/Standford University, 1991), p. 115 (sergeant Jack Dunlop),


Süddeutsche Zeitung, September 14, 2016, Mutmassliche IS-Terroristen kamen über Balkanroute, pp. 1, 6,


Bild, September 14, 2016, p. 3, GSG 9 verhaftet ISIS-Schläfer.

Bild (English version of the interview with Thomas de Mazière ), September 14, 2016, "There is no going back to a world that died on 9/11,"


Emerson Vermaat, De Dodelijke Planning van Al-Qaida (Soesterberg, the Netherlands, 2005, second printing in 2015), pp. 92-118.

Bild (online), 10 september 2016, De Mazière warnt: Mehr als 500 islamistische Gefährder,


Note: The heading suggests that De Mazière was referring to "Islamists" only, but this was not the case. He was in fact talking about "politically motivated crimes" ("politisch motivierte Straftaten").

Süddeutsche Zeitung, September 14, 2016, pp. 1, 6 Mutmassliche IS-Terroristen kamen über Balkanroute. Bei der Festname von drei Männern, die sich als Flüchtlinge tarnten, findet die Polizei falsche Pässe und Tausende Dollar; zie tevens:


Bild (online), 13 september 2016, Wie viele ISIS-Kämpfer verstecken sich in Deutschland? Bundeskriminalamt hat weit mehr als 400 Hinweise auf islamistische Extremisten,


(Joachim Hermann.)

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