The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Motives of German train bombers

More information is coming out on the motives of the two train bombers that failed to blow up two regional trains in Western Germany about two months ago.

The head of the German Federal police, Jörg Ziercke, told the magazine Focus that – based on first interrogations of one the subjects who is held in Lebanon – the “initial detonation� for the plans was the publication of the caricatures of Prophet Mohammad in the German press.

“Youssef el Hajdib, who was arrested in Kiel, understood this as an attack of the Western world on Islam�, Ziercke is quoted as saying.

By accident, one of the bombers was later on discovered on footage of a local TV station that showed him during a demonstration in Kiel, a city in Northern Germany, in February, protesting the publication of the caricatures in German papers. On the footage, he is walking right next to the leader of the demonstration.

I find this interesting, as I have rarely read something on specific motives of Islamist terrorists beyond a general rejection of the West, as well as the specific events that radicalized them.

Ziercke adds that the death of el Zarkawi in Iraq on 7 June further encouraged the terrorists to carry out their plans.

Luckily, they didn’t manage to build their bombs (which didn’t explode anyways due to errors in their technical design) in time for the soccer world cup.