The three alleged “terrorists” arrested in Germany, aimed to blow up US military airports, civil airports, bars, discos and other targets, according to the German authorities, motivated by a fanatical hatred of the United States.
They have been identified as coming from the “Islamic Jihad Union”, an alleged offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. This organisation was first heard of in intelligence passed by the Uzbek intelligence services to the United States during alleged “Terror attacks” in Tashkent in spring 2004. Those attacks were in fact largely fake and almost certainly the work of the Uzbek security services, from my investigations on the spot at the time. These are detailed in pages 325 to 339 of Murder in Samarkand. These “attacks” were followed by the arrest of many hundred people in Tashkent, largely those with a little money and a Western lifestyle. From the torture chambers, hundreds confessed to membership of the Islamic Jihad Union. The United States, still an ally of Uzbekistan at that time, was keen to accept the narrative and moved succesfully to place the Islamic Jihad Union on the United Nations list of terrorist organisations.
In fact there was no evidence of the existence of this organisation other than that given by the Uzbek Security Services. There are, for example, no communications intercepts between senior terrorists referring to themselves as the Islamic Jihad Union.
Germany houses the biggest concentration of exiled Uzbek dissidents in the West, and in May of 2004 the Uzbek security services were already passing on alleged intelligence about attacks by the Islamic Jihad Union on US targets in Germany. Peculiarly, newspaper stories about these IJU plots in Germany have been surfacing regularly for the last two years, ahead of the recent arrests.
Germany is of course now Uzbekistan’s major ally in the West. Germany has an airbase in Uzbekistan and still has very close security service coopertation with Uzbekistan. Germany has been pushing hard within the EU for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Uzbekistan following the massacre bu the Uzbek armed forces of at least 700 demonstrators at Andijan in May 2005. Germany’s close relationship with Uzbekistan is based on the interests of Gazprom and its $8 billion Nordstream Russian/German joint venture for a Baltic pipeline to bring Russian and Uzbek gas to Germany. This was orchestrated by Gerhard Schroeder, now Chairman of Nordstream, and Alisher Usmanov, chairman of Gazprom Investholdings.
Germany therefore remains very open to the Uzbek security service agenda. It is in the light of these interests that the story being given about the latest arrests should be considered. There are some peculiar points about it: why are the German authorities connecting a Turk and two ethnic Germans, who allegedly trained in Pakistan, to an obscure and possibly non-existent Uzbek group?
I should make plain that regrettably it is a fact that there are those who commit violence, motivated by a fanatic version of their faith. Sadly the appalling aggression of US and allied war policy has made such reaction much more frequent. These men may or may not have been planning to commit explosions. But if they were, the question is who was really pulling their strings, and why?