Daily Israel Report

Former Neo-Nazi: Joining Taliban was a 'Terrible Mistake'

A former neo-Nazi who joined Taliban and attacked an American base near Afghan-Pakistan border said in court he “made a terrible mistake”.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 11/4/2012, 8:43 AM

U.S. soldiers observe the area as they expect a Taliban attack
U.S. soldiers observe the area as they expect a Taliban attack
Reuters

A former neo-Nazi who joined the Taliban and attacked an American base near the Afghan-Pakistan border has told a German court that he regrets his decision to become a terrorist saying he “made a terrible mistake”.

The 27-year-old German, identified only as Thomas U, converted to Islam and enrolled in the German Taliban Mujahidin, (DTM) before travelling with his wife to the war-torn region, The London Times reported.

The aspiring jihadist, who is being charged with being a member of the DTM from December 2009 until July 2010 and taking part in an attack on an American base, testified in court that he lamented his fellow combatants' drug habits, lack of hygiene, contracting hepatitis A and seeing his friends get killed on the battlefield.

He also said that his wife missed comforts such as her cell phone and shopping at the supermarket.

The couple fled to Istanbul, Turkey, in 2010 after his wife became pregnant but were immediately arrested.

According to the report in the London newspaper, Thoman U paid 5,000 euros to travel to the Afghan-Pakistan border in 2009, and was trained to use firearms and explosives. He even appeared in a Taliban propaganda video, boasting that the attack "disrupted the Christmas spirit" on the American base.

After DTM's co-founder Eric Breininger and Dutch national "Danny R" were killed by Pakistani forces in April 2010, however, he became disillusioned with the terror mission.

“I admit that I made a terrible mistake,” he said in a statement to the Berlin court. “It was a terrible experience. I was shocked at the lack of hygiene, people were spitting and vomiting. My wife was very unhappy because traditionally women are treated badly.”

“I had only seen one dead body before, of my grandmother. The sight of their mutilated bodies really affected me,” he added. “From then on I no longer wanted to take part in violence, I had been completely wrong.”