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Terror death?

May 3, 2010

One of Germany’s most wanted Islamists Eric Breininger, has reportedly been killed in Pakistan. The 22-year old was suspected of having links to a group convicted of plotting attacks on US facilities in Germany in 2007.

Erich Breiniger
How Eric Breiniger appeared in a terror message videoImage: picture-alliance /dpa

According to a message posted on the Internet by the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), Eric Breininger died a “courageous martyr's death” on April 30 in a battle with Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Cologne said that Breiniger's death could not be confirmed but that it considered the message to be genuine.

Breininger is from the state of Saarland in western Germany. He is believed to have been recruited to Islam by members of the Sauerland Group that was convicted in March of plotting to attack US targets in Germany. The group had gathered more than a ton of explosives they planned to use to blow up the US army base at Ramstein and Frankfurt Airport in Germany in 2007.

Supporting "Jihad war"

Breininger was trained in the use of firearms and explosives at an IJU camp in Pakistan in 2007. Breininger was often seen with the leader of the organization in video messages posted on the Internet. In a video, posted in August 2008, he spoke of carrying out a suicide attack and supported jihad or holy war.

In September 2008, Germany's Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) placed photos of Breininger, and another terror suspect he was travelling with, 24-year-old Lebanese Houssain al-Malla, on its “Most Wanted Suspects” list. The two were seen across Europe, and there were fears that they would return to Germany to either carry out attacks or assist in helping others carry them out.

The IJU is a radical Islamist organization that originated in Uzbekistan. German security authorities consider the group to be a major security threat, because it attempts to recruit Turkish nationals, and German national with a Turkish background, for the terror organisation Al Qaeda.

Editor: Rob Turner