Koblenz (Germany): A German-Afghan man whose
information prompted terrorism warnings across Europe in 2010
told a court on Tuesday he received orders from a senior al Qaeda
militant in Pakistan, and met a key member of the Hamburg
al Qaeda cell that included three of the September 11 suicide
Ahmad Wali Siddiqui, 37, concluded four days of testimony
before the Koblenz state court by admitting that he received
orders from al Qaeda`s Younis al-Mauritani, who was
apprehended in 2011 by Pakistani agents working with the CIA.
No pleas are entered in the German legal system, and
Siddiqui faces a possible 10-year sentence if convicted of
membership in a terrorist organization. Courts often reduce
sentences, however, if suspects are seen as cooperative.
His testimony in the opening days of the trial has given
a rare glimpse into the operations of al Qaeda along the
Siddiqui told the court today that he and others met
twice in mid-2010 with al-Mauritani in an al Qaeda apartment
in Mir Ali, one of the main towns in North Waziristan near the
Afghan border. He and a friend from Germany were told to
return to Europe "with the aim of weakening the economy."
He said there were no concrete plans for a terrorist
attack, but they were told to prepare themselves and wait for
orders, while blending in by wearing Western style clothes and
not otherwise attracting attention.
But he was captured by US forces in Kabul in July, 2010,
on his way back to Germany, and his friend was captured in
Pakistan, so neither made it home to find out what they were
to do, he testified.
He told the same information to interrogators while in
custody, and it led the US and others to issue a travel
alert for Europe around Christmas that year. No attacks
materialized, and he was turned over to Germany in 2011.
While Siddiqui has testified he did not swear an oath to
al Qaeda, he has also made it clear he felt part of the
operation. On Tuesday he told the court his intention from the
start had been to fight jihad, or holy war, in Afghanistan
with the group.
"I wanted to go with the boys to (the eastern Afghan city
of) Jalalabad and fight there for al Qaeda and the Taliban,"
He said they tried to get across the border to join
forces with the group, but plans failed. Instead they
contacted al Qaeda to ask what they could do, which led to