SPIEGEL: "His Motivations Remain a Mystery"

Yes, this one is a real headscratcher, I tell ya.

Arrested in Britain The Path of a Young German Salafist Spiegel h/t Pamela Geller

Abdul Hakiim converted to Islam, wore long robes, dreamed of paradise; He was arrested in July for trying to enter Britain with bomb-making guides and al-Qaida propaganda. “But his motivations remain a mystery” (full post below the fold)

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 “His Motivations Remain a Mystery”

Everyone knows that Islam is a Religion of Peaceâ„¢ and that only greasy Islamophobes pause from raking in the bucks long enough to suggest otherwise, so Abdul Hakiim’s conversion to Islam couldn’t have anything to do with his sudden interest in setting off bombs. This one is, a Pamela Geller says, “a real headscratcher”! “The Path of a Young German Salafist,” by Julia Jüttner in Spiegel, August 30 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

Robert B. wore long robes, dreamed of paradise and called himself Abdul Hakiim. He and his friend were arrested in July for trying to enter Britain with bomb-making guides and al-Qaida propaganda. They now sit in a London high-security prison. But Robert’s motivations remain a mystery.A mother can’t be fooled, and a mother notices when her child goes astray, says Marlies B. That’s why she called the state authorities in October 2010 and asked if she needed to be worried about her son.

Her son Robert had changed. He’d converted to Islam, forsaken pork and alcohol, and now he wore a knit wool cap and wandered the city of Solingen, northeast of Cologne, in floor-length garments. Marlies B. says she’d never seen him this way. People asked her about it, and it was embarrassing. It frightened her. […]

He’d taken the ferry to Dover with Christian E., another convert from Solingen, who had a criminal record. At the border they told authorities they had planned to fly from Brussels to Egypt, but the tickets were too expensive. So they’d settled on Great Britain instead.

Officials searched their bags and found handbooks for jihadists, a bomb-making pamphlet called, “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” and an essay on “39 Ways to Support Jihad,” written by the radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki — all propaganda material for al-Qaida. Both Germans were sent to Belmarsh, a high-security prison in south London, and isolated in solitary confinement. […]

Even as a child, Robert was an outsider and was bullied and chased across the school yard. He dropped out of school in the 9th grade. When he was 17 he joined the military, with his mother’s approval, and volunteered to go to Afghanistan. He dreamed of riding in a tank. But he wound up on desk duty. When this duty grew boring, he started spreading right-wing propaganda on the Internet. He hung a Hitler portrait over his bunk. He was forced to leave the army. […]

In January 2009, Robert converted to Islam. He told his mother this in passing at lunch one day. She says she doesn’t know who encouraged him to do it. Robert kept his curly hair cut short and didn’t grow a beard. “He did not seem so extreme to me,” she says.

She dismissed Robert’s comments that she should re-orient her religion, and wear a headscarf or a burka at home, as idle chatter. She had no idea he already called himself Abdul Hakiim.

In October, he and other Muslims travelled to Egypt. “I want to learn Arabic, in order to practice my beliefs,” he told his mother. She alerted German authorities, and some officials paid Robert a visit. To this day, he does not know that his mother was behind it, she says. Officials placated her by saying they had him under their radar.

Because of the unrest in Egypt, Robert took a special flight home to Germany on February 1, 2011. He checked in with his mother by phone. She cooked spaghetti with ground beef that had been slaughtered according to Islamic ritual by a special butcher in Solingen. He spent two nights in her apartment. Then he moved out, and started to live on state assistance. […]

She now knows that before his trip to Britain he visited mosques in Cologne and Bonn. She knows he flew to Hamburg to see a presentation by Pierre Vogel, also known as Abu Hamza — a radical German Islamic preacher and former professional boxer who had become a hero for Robert….