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White Terror By: Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, July 31, 2003

The arrest of a German in France last June has added a new and frightening dimension to the worldwide War on Terror.

Christian Ganczarski was taken into custody at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport upon returning from Saudi Arabia with his wife and four children.

French authorities accuse the 36-year-old Ganczarski with involvement in the terrorist bombing of a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Dscherba in April, 2002, in which 21 people died, fourteen of them Germans. The perpetrator of this bloody event, Nizar Naouar, a Tunisian, had called Ganczarski on his cell phone shortly before he drove a tanker truck to his target and blew it, and himself, up in the suicide attack.

But it gets worse. French authorities said Ganczarski was also plotting to explode a car bomb on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean before his arrest. A Moroccan Islamic terrorist traveling from Germany, who was arrested at the Paris airport two days before Ganczarski, said the German was an organizer of that terrorist strike. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarcozy stated Ganczarski was an important Islamic terrorist who once had close contact with Osama bin Laden.

Moreover, German officials believe Ganczarski was the leader of a terrorist cell in Duisburg, a city in the Rhineland. In his apartment they found a book containing phone numbers of leading Islamic figures in Germany. But the most disturbing number was that of Mohammed el Motassadeq, a member of the Hamburg terrorist cell, to which the 9/11 terrorists belonged. Last February, a German court sentenced Motassadeq to 15 years in prison for his part in the attack.

Ganczarski was taken into custody in Germany after the Dscherba synagogue tragedy, but was released for lack of evidence. He then went to Saudi Arabia, which later expelled him when his visa ran out. The French were waiting for him in Paris.

Ganczarski's path to a career as Islamic terrorist is illuminating. He grew up in a devote Roman Catholic family of German heritage that emigrated to Germany in 1976 from Upper Silesia, a former German province now part of Poland. He completed only Grade 7 before going to work as an apprentice welder. He later found employment at a company where many Muslims worked. Discussions with them influenced him to read the Koran, after which he converted to Islam in 1986 at age 20, adopting the name Abu Ibrahim.

Ganczarski married another convert to Islam, Nicola Garbrecht, in 1990, whom he had met at a mosque.

In 1991, however, Ganczarski's life took an unexpected and eventful turn. The University of Medina in Saudi Arabia offered the junior high school dropout a stipend to study Islamic theology. Ganczarski told interrogators the idea behind such offers is that foreign Muslims would then return home to proselytize among their own people.

But the Saudi university experience was a decisive one for the young German, for it was there he decided to become a warrior for Islam. When his studies were finished two years later, he traveled to Chechnya, Pakistan and Afghanistan where he met Osama bin Laden in the al-Qaeda camps. He served as a courier between him and al-Qaeda leader, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, his white skin and German passport probably serving as excellent cover. It was also in Afghanistan that the European first met Nauour.

Gonczarski, unfortunately, isn't the first native German to turn Islamic terrorist. About five years ago, Stephan Smyrek traveled to Israel as a spy for Hezbollah after training in a camp in southern Lebanon.. German intelligence, however, was already shadowing Smyrek. It notified the Israelis, who arrested him upon his arrival in their country.

Like Gonczarski, Smyrek became interested in Islam at his work place, a pizzeria, which was a hangout for Muslim youths. Before that, he had been a German army truck driver for four years. But unlike Gonczarski, Smyrek's turning point may have occurred in Germany after the father of his Egyptian girlfriend refused to let his daughter marry a non-Egyptian. Hezbollah's European unit subsequently recruited him. And while this unit usually looks for Arabs with Western language skills and passports, Smyrek's blond hair and blue eyes must have made him a good find.

But the fact Islamic extremists can recruit white Europeans as terrorists is a disturbing development in the War on Terror, since they are much harder to detect. Their nativeness gives them a camouflage foreign terrorists don't have, as has already been painfully discovered with Richard Reid, the English shoe bomber, and with the African-American soldier accused of killing sleeping American officers in Iraq with a grenade he tossed into their tent.

But it is nevertheless a camouflage Islamic terrorists have long been willing to exploit for their deadly purposes. As early as 1995, a dropout from German society, who was living in southern France raising bees, was arrested for helping Algerian Islamic terrorists smuggle arms, hiding their weapons under his beehives. His nationality and ethnicity had served as a perfect cover for his activities. French police never suspected him until his name turned up on a document found in a search. However, his participation in the scheme was owed to money and not religious belief. Nevertheless, since it is estimated 10,000 people have converted to Islam in Germany alone, white Europeans, either in radical, anti-American leftist or Muslim-convert form, serve now as a potential source of terrorism America can no longer ignore.

Stephen Brown is a contributing editor at Frontpagemag.com. He has a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European history. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com.

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