New German Islamist video released

A new extremist video featuring a German speaker was released Thursday on a jihadist website, German officials said.

Federal prosecutor Marcus Koehler said authorities including his office and the Interior Ministry were evaluating the video, called Islam and the Financial Crisis. He would not give any details about its contents.

According to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites, the 44-minute video in German with Arabic subtitles features Bekkay Harrach, who had threatened attacks on Germany in a video dated October 2008. In that video he said no economic rescue plan would help Germany unless it withdrew its forces from Afghanistan.

The man in the new video is identified as Abu Talha the German, the same pseudonym German authorities say the 31-year-old Harrach used in the October video. Koehler, however, said he could not confirm that Harrach appears in the new video. In the October video, The Rescue Package for Germany, a speaker hiding his face behind a black turban notes that Germany has the third-largest coalition contingent in Afghanistan behind the U.S. and Britain.

Harrach, a German of Moroccan background, is believed to have lived for many years in Bonn and to be in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area now, authorities said. Federal prosecutors opened an investigation of Harrach last month.

“We already opened an investigation against Mr. Harrach. That is continuing,” Koehler said. He would not provide further details.

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