Saudi Sheik Sparks Political Row

Question: where does a terrorism supporting,  Islamic extremist preacher go when he needs medical treatment…?

Answer: Germany.

The New York Times brings us a story about a Saudi cleric who supports Osama Bin Laden and calls for the death of Jews and Christians. Germany kindly gave him police protection in April while he was treated in a hospital there.

The disclosure of Germany’s hospitality has sparked a massive row; German law defines these Islamic rantings as a hate crime.

Sheik Abdullah ibn al-Jebreen is one of the most influential clerics in Saudi Arabia and a devotee of Wahhabism, a strict form of Islam.

American and European counterterrorism officials warn that he has supported radical Islam and supported violence against Jews and Christians. Several of his followers are under surveillance by the German intelligence services.

His visit to Germany was first reported early this month by Spiegel Online, the Web site of the newsmagazine Der Spiegel, after an Iraqi exile read about it on the cleric’s Web site and filed a complaint against him.

Government officials confirmed details of the visit under questioning in Parliament on Wednesday. Some angry lawmakers demanded to know why he had even been granted entry.

“The man has called for the killing of Shiites, and this is definitely a crime in Germany, and he also praised Osama bin Laden,” said Omid Nouripour, a Green Party member of Parliament, adding, “This is a scandal.”

August Hanning, state secretary of the Interior Ministry, said by telephone that he had no warning of the visit and that the cleric had entered with a French visa. “The government had no idea about this,” he said.

Peter Altmaier, another state secretary of the Interior Ministry, told Parliament that government officials first heard about the cleric’s presence in Germany when the Saudi interior minister contacted the German Embassy in Riyadh on May 11 and asked that Mr. Jebreen receive police protection in a Berlin hospital where he was undergoing heart treatment.

The police stopped by the hospital several times to check on him. “We were in regular contact with the hospital and the Saudi Embassy,” said Martin Otter, a Berlin police spokesman.

Guido Steinberg, a terrorism expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, said:  “Everything that you have heard about him is absolutely Wahhabi mainstream, that the Shiites are apostates and that people should go to Iraq and fight against occupiers.”

The Iraqi exile, Ali al-Sarray, whose lawyer filed the complaint to the German police in May, said Mr. Jebreen “is one of the brainwashers who is responsible for terrorism and the killing of innocent people.”



How nice of Germany to prove so accommodating to an advocate of terrorism and a hater of Jews. Funny how the Sheik somehow knew he’d have no problem receiving treatment in Germany, isn’t it…?

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