Saturday, January 29, 2011

My New Piece at Foreign Policy Magazine's AFPAK Channel on Death of Al-Qa'ida Central's German Spokesman Bekkay Harrach

I have a new article at Foreign Policy magazine's AFPAK Channel, "Al-Qaeda Loses a Key Media Presence," about the confirmed death of Al-Qa'ida Central's (AQC) German spokesman, Bekkay Harrach (بكاي حراش ). The young German of Moroccan descent was reportedly killed leading an attack by members of AQC and two of its key regional allies, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP; Taliban Movement of Pakistan) and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), against the United States military base in Bagram, Afghanistan last year. Rumors of his death surfaced last autumn but were never confirmed by the U.S., NATO, or AQC.

"Bekkay Harrach, the German spokesman for Al Qaeda Central (AQC), was confirmed dead in an attack on the U.S. air base at Bagram in a statement released last week by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The German-Moroccan was usually referred to by the jihadi nom de guerre Abu Talha al-Almani (The German). Rumors of his death surfaced last autumn but were never confirmed by either NATO or AQC.

Born to a Moroccan family that immigrated to Germany when he was a child, Harrach starred in several German-language AQC propaganda films and audio tapes. Harrach is believed to have traveled to Afghanistan or Pakistan in 2007 where he eventually joined AQC, and it is suspected (but has not been confirmed) that his travel was facilitated by recruitment networks active in Germany. A relatively large number of Germans, including many of Turkish descent, have traveled to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions, and joined in significant numbers two militant Uzbek groups operating in the region, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and an offshoot, the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)."

Read the rest at AFPAK CHANNEL...

My previous AFPAK Channel article, "Al-Qaeda's Media Plays Follow the Leader," was published on October 25, 2010 HERE.

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