|Abu Umar al-Almani|
|File:Abu Umar al-Almani.png|
|Birth name||Yamin Abou-Zand|
|Died||March 25, 2017(aged Error: Need valid year, month, day)|
|Place of birth||Stuttgart, Germany|
|Place of death||Near Tabqa Dam, Syria|
|Allegiance||Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
|Years of service||2015–2017|
|Rank||Emir in the Al-Thawrah District|
Yamin Abou-Zand (1986 – 25 March 2017), better known by his nom de guerre Abu Umar al-Almani (Arabic language: أبو عمر الألماني; Abū ʿUmar al-Almānī), was a prominent German commander of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He gained notoriety by appearing in the first German ISIL propaganda video in 2015, and went on to fight for the militant organization until 2017, when he was killed in action against the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Born in 1986 in Stuttgart into a partially German Muslim family, Yamin Abou-Zand grew up in Baden-Württemberg until moving with his parents to Königswinter in 2000. There, he married a German Muslim and got his own apartment. The couple had no children and lived secluded, though neighbors said that they were generally nice people. Yamin also began working at the Deutsche Telekom, where he was initially considered to be a "promising, committed and very courteous employee",[lower-alpha 1] but in late 2013 his co-workers noticed that he became increasingly extremist in his religious world view. Eventually, he began to openly express sympathy for the ISIL, whereupon the Telekom reported him to the German security agencies. Yamin eventually quit his job in late 2014. In early 2015 he and his wife disappeared without informing their families, who reported them as missing. The two appear to have travelled to Turkey, and from there to Syria in order to join ISIL. Soon after, Yamin adopted his nom de guerre "Abu Umar al-Almani" and joined Millatu Ibrahim, a German Salafist organization led by the Austrian Mohamed Mahmoud that had become a unit of ISIL's military.
He gained prominence in August 2015 by appearing in the first ISIL propaganda video in German together with Mohamed Mahmoud. In the video, shot in Palmyra, the two tried to encourage German Muslims to travel to Syria and join ISIL. Abu Omar claimed that "the jihad is like vacation for us. We are here at one of the most beautiful places in Syria."[lower-alpha 2] In the case German jihadists could not travel to Syria, he ordered them instead to commit terrorist attacks in Germany and Austria, saying that they should "attack the kuffar, in their own homes! Kill them where you find them!"[lower-alpha 3] The two ISIL fighters justified this as revenge for the German support of the anti-ISIL coalition, and the Bundeswehr mission in Afghanistan. Abu Omar then proceeded to execute a captured Syrian Army soldier. Since his appearance in the propaganda video, Abu Omar was wanted by the German security services for murder and war crimes. In course of the following year, Abu Umar became an emir and one of the leading ISIL commanders in the Al-Thawrah District, where he helped to organize the defenses against the SDF-led Raqqa offensive. On 25 March 2017, he was killed during clashes with the SDF near Tabqa Dam.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Translated from German; in the original this reads: "vielversprechender, engagierter und sehr höflicher Mitarbeiter".
- Translated from German; in the original this reads: "Der Dschihad ist tatsächlich Urlaub für uns. Wir sind hier an einem der schönsten Orte Syriens."
- Translated from German; in the original this reads: "Greift die Kuffar an, in ihren eigenen Häusern! Tötet sie dort, wo ihr sie findet!"
References[edit | edit source]
- "Hamburger sprengt sich in Syrien für den IS in die Luft" (in German). Hamburger Abendblatt. 4 June 2016. http://www.abendblatt.de/hamburg/article207641407/Hamburger-sprengt-sich-in-Syrien-fuer-den-IS-in-die-Luft.html. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- "Ex-Terrorist packt aus – Das geheime IS-Terror-Netzwerk in Deutschland" (in German). Berliner Kurier. Berliner Verlag GmbH. 5 August 2016. http://www.berliner-kurier.de/berlin/polizei-und-justiz/ex-terrorist-packt-aus-das-geheime-is-terror-netzwerk--in-deutschland-24510078. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- Florian Flade (13 August 2015). "Behörden identifizieren deutschen IS-Mörder [Authorities identify German IS murderer"] (in German). Die Welt. https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article145186293/Behoerden-identifizieren-deutschen-IS-Moerder.html. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- "Abu Omar al-Almany was killed". Hawar News Agency. 26 March 2017. http://en.hawarnews.com/abu-omar-al-almany-was-killed/. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- Rainer Burger (29 November 2015). "Islamismus in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Die Spur von "Millatu Ibrahim" [Islamism in Nordrhein-Westfalen. The track of Millatu Ibrahim"] (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/kampf-gegen-den-terror/islamismus-in-nordrhein-westfalen-die-spur-von-millatu-ibrahim-13937586-p3.html. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- "IS veröffentlicht Propaganda-Video auf Deutsch [IS releases a propaganda video in German"] (in German). Spiegel Online. 5 August 2015. http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/islamischer-staat-veroeffentlicht-erstmals-deutschsprachiges-video-a-1046869.html. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- Ines Bodammer (15 August 2015). "Königswinter unter Schock. So lebte IS-Henker Yamin A.-Z. im Rhein-Idyll [Königswinter under shock. IS executioner Yamin A.-Z. lived in this way in the Rhine idyll"] (in German). Express.de. http://www.express.de/news/koenigswinter-unter-schock-so-lebte-is-henker-yamin-a--z--im-rhein-idyll-22594846. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- Günther et al. (2016), p. 171.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Günther, Christoph; Ourghi, Mariella; Schröter, Susanne; Wiedl, Nina (2016). "Dschihadistische Rechtfertigungsnarrative und ihre Angriffsflächen" (in German). Salafismus und Dschihadismus in Deutschland: Ursachen, Dynamiken, Handlungsempfehlungen. Frankfurt, New York City: Campus Verlag. pp. 159–198. ISBN 978-3-593-50637-1.
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