October 7th, 2010
02:23 PM ET

Jihadist website: One of Hamburg terror group killed in drone strike

A jihadist from Hamburg suspected of being part of an al Qaeda plot against Europe was killed by a drone strike in northwest Pakistan this week, according to a statement Thursday on a Turkish-language jihadist website.

The website said a fighter named Abu Askar al-Almani and three other Jihadists had been "martyred" by the missile strike against a base in Waziristan, where German and Tajik fighters were living. German officials say al-Almani is the nom de guerre of Shahab Dashti, an Iranian-German who left Hamburg, Germany, with 10 other suspected militants in the spring of 2009.

Earlier this week, Pakistani officials told CNN that a drone strike Monday near Mir Ali in North Waziristan killed five German militants. They were alleged to be part of an Al Qaeda plot to target European cities with attacks styled after the one on Mumbai, India, in 2008.

Officials say Shahab Dashti, known as Abu Askar al-Almani, is an Iranian-German who left Hamburg in 2009.

The alleged conspiracy prompted the U.S. State Department to issue a travel advisory Sunday to Americans traveling in Europe.

The jihadist website described al-Almani as "one of the colorful faces of the German mujahedeen" and included video in which he was holding a long-bladed knife.

The images of al-Almani first appeared in October 2009 in a German-language recruitment video released by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which has close links to al Qaeda. Dashti joined the movement after
arriving in Pakistan, German intelligence officials tell CNN.

Intelligence experts with the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy told CNN that the website has in the past carried messages from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

The website - Jihad Media - said another German and two Tajiks were killed in the drone strike: Imran al-Almani, Abdul Aziz Taciki and Hattab Taciki.

A European counterterrorism official said that Western intelligence agencies are working to verify the website's information, but are treating it as serious and credible.

One member of the Hamburg group - Ahmed Sidiqi, a German Afghan, was detained in Kabul in July and is said to have revealed details about the al Qaeda plot against Europe while under interrogation at the U.S. airbase at Bagram, Afghanistan.

ccording to a European counterterrorism official, Sidiqi claimed that Dashti would return to Europe as a "foot soldier" in the attack, and that two other members of the group - Naamen Meziche and Asadullah M. - had planning roles in the plot.

Their whereabouts are unknown, but German officials believe they are still in the Pakistan-Afghan border region. Meziche, a French citizen of Algerian descent, was the chief recruiter of the Hamburg group, according to the official.

ast weekend, Dashti's family in Hamburg told CNN they were extremely concerned about their son's safety. The family said they believed their son had been brainwashed by extremists at Hamburg's Taiba mosque. German authorities shut down that mosque in August, alleging it had growing ties to extremist activity.

The mosque was once attended regularly by Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the 9/11 attacks. All the members of the Hamburg group had attended the mosque, according to German intelligence officials.

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Filed under: al Qaeda • Drone strikes
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Abu Askar al-Almani

    loving me some 72 virgins

    October 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • atal

      There was some confusion hope that you enjoy your 72 vegans.

      October 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    God would have not given the USA the knowledge to make the weaponry to combat the disgusting truth of 360 degrees terrorist who's only objective is death and destruction! We stopped WWII and we will stop Islamic extremism also! I just wish the rest of Islam would stand up and fight for their own faith which your 360 degree cult is destroying!

    October 8, 2010 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. mmi16

    When are the Afgahn's going to grow the balls necessary to run there own country.

    October 8, 2010 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      When the NATO forces pull out,of course. That's what needs to happen.

      October 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |

        Your daddy obviously used the withdrawal method look how effective that was.

        October 9, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Smith in Oregon

    How long is it going to take before the US Military Intelligence releases the number of how many Pakistani civilians were killed in the busy marketplace that was right next to the brick compound that was hit by multiple tank buster Hel fire missiles? Oh, after several months and all linkage with this targeting of a German thought to be a terrorist is forgotten.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Do you honestly believe that the US Military Intelligence will ever release the number of the civilians they killed? I find that quite dubious since they don't want to spoil their "good" image!

      October 8, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
      • John

        If you want to read boastful claims about killings try al-jazera.

        October 9, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Manmohan Lal

    Deny all you want but in the end USA will be a loser, Pakistan will be a loser, NATO will be a loser.

    Only winner will be India. I mean greater India including whole of Afghanistan and Pakistan...You Pakistanis are already sandwiched by us Indians. We are on your east and thanks to USA, we are on your west in Afghanistan.

    Dream of Maha Bharat (Greater India) becomes a reality with every passing day...

    October 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Manmohan Lal

    India needs to recruit more of these stupid terrorists and then use her presence in Afghanistan to facilitate their transfer to the so call Pakistani heaven. Everytime they get killed, Pakistan faces the heat and music.

    Any conflict between USA and Pakistan will only only benefit India. One down economically and the other traditional enemy down without one Indian bullet being fired. India will then simply swallow all of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    The dream of Maha Bharat (Greater India) will becomg a reality. India is so smart by offering the American to invest into Afghani infrastructure and work under their noses to create problems for Pakistan in Balochistan and all over....

    Way to go India.....

    October 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |