Paintball for Jihad: How IS is Planning Islamic Holy War from a German City

The investigations of German authorities prove that the Islamic State has distributed its terror cells throughout Europe. The IS can move almost freely in the EU and is busy training for its planned attacks. The tranquil town of Osnabrück in Lower Saxony plays a key role in the holy war against the infidels.

The men stand smiling in their camouflage waistcoats in the forest. They pose for the camera with raised masks and dummy firearms. Always ready for battle. In one of the pictures, seized by state security staff from North Rhine-Westphalia, many of them show the emblem of the terrorist militia “Islamic State” (IS): the upstretched finger of Tauhid.

Jihad (holy war) is trained in the paintball game. “Sharia rules here” and “Allahu Akhbar” were shouted by the participants at the beginning of the training. In the chat, an organiser shouted that Muslims always had to train to ” kill the kuffar (infidels)”.

The fighting games were organised, among others, by former supporters of the Cologne-based Islamist association “Kalifatstaat”. This is proven by documents available to FOCUS Online.

The attack trainings were carried out from a secret prayer room in the Osnabrück district of Schinkel at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019. Primarily, sympathisers or descendants of the first generation of the Cologne-based Islamist association, which was banned 20 years ago, gathered there. According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the paintball meetings served to prepare attacks or suicide bombings “in the context of their common ideological convictions”, in short also the “readiness for martyrdom”.

Local sympathisers of the Cologne Caliph Metin Kaplan, who was deported to his Turkish homeland 16 years ago as an enemy of the state, continue to fill many investigation files. For example, terror investigators secured recordings of meetings with the operators of the online platform “On behalf of Islam”, which is said to be close to the Kaplan association.

Above all, however, the investigators are concerned that the Osnabrück Kaplan militants are now increasingly supporting the IS. For example, the Lower Saxon cadre of extremists maintained close relations with a suspected Tajik IS terrorist group from North Rhine-Westphalia, which was detected by the Takim investigative commission. Together they practised house fighting at paintball meetings. The five members of the Takim cell will soon have to answer to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. The charges range from IS membership to failed murder attempts to plans to attack the US bases in Geilenkirchen and Spangdahlem.

The war training of the Takim brothers together with the advocates of the caliphate state prove how closely linked the violent Islamist network is in Western Europe. Several Muslim migrant communities from the former CIS states in the Caucasus and from the Balkans have formed highly effective groups in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and Germany in the name of IS. For years, the German counter-terrorism service has been warning that the IS, after its defeat in Syria and Iraq, is increasingly calling for jihad in Germany and its neighbouring states via social networks.

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