REPORT: Bonn Eight Forcibly Married To Captors In Tanzania
NEWS 10/06/2039 11:36 PM ET
REPORT: Bonn Eight Forcibly Married To Captors In Tanzania

Spencer Younopolis
Foreign Affairs Reporter, Huntington Courier

CC BY 4.0 erbain.. by elif ayse | Writer image: CC BY 4.0 Official Headshot by Nathan | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
Still from footage announcing the 'marriage' of the abducted German women to insurgent criminals. This is believed to be Anke Schüster.
Reports are emerging that the Bonn Eight, abducted from a train station in the western German city earlier this year, have been married to Jihadist fighters in the Tanzanian city of Dar Es Salaam.

Al Jazeera has confirmed that all eight women were smuggled from Bonn through a foreign network that stretches across Europe. They were eventually moved via a port near Naples, Italy to North Africa from where they were taken to Tanzania.

Reports from Al Jazeera earlier this week confirmed that all eight women are now being held in poorer Muslim neighborhoods in the city.

In June local Al-Shabaab leader Hammam Farooq Abu-Afrah released a video stating that the women were being held in retaliation for the February 10th burning of an image of the Prophet Mohammed by right-wing students in Berlin.

The names of the men the women have been forced to marry have not been made available.

On 30th March, the eight women were abducted from a platform while waiting for a train at Plittersdorfer Strasse train station in Bad Godesberg, a suburb of Bonn. Friends confirmed they had been partying at a nearby house until 2am.

Witnesses say they were initially plied with alcohol by a group of men of 'north African appearance' who then began to coax them toward an escalator. When they resisted they were forced up the escalator to street level where two vans were waiting.

"They were being pulled against their will...pushed and cursed at. Some of the men used words I don't recognize," said a resident who did not wish to be named.

Security footage confirms witnesses' account of events.

Their journey across Europe has been the subject of extensive reporting, as they were taken through Germany, Austria and Italy without being detected by authorities. Scrutiny has focused on the EU's Schengen border control policy which enables EU nationals to freely move between certain countries.

Calls for the return of the women by German Chancellor Ansel Weber were matched by outrage across Europe as national leaders offered sympathy for the womens' plight.

Right-wing attacks were perpetrated against local Muslims in scores of cities in the following weeks, with calls for the expulsion of the European Islamic community. German far-right nationalists insisted a smuggling network existed among Muslim EU border agents, a claim that has not been substantiated.

British conservative politician Edward Gylbraith suggested in August that organizational and logistical ties between local Islamic groups and their African and Middle Eastern counterparts are even stronger than suspected by European security agencies. Such links enable terror groups to carry out the kind of intricate planning which saw the Bonn Eight carried more than four thousand miles.

The taking of the Bonn Eight comes on the heels of other high-profile abductions and executions by Islamic militants over the past year on the European mainland.

The city of Dar Es Salaam, once a major economic and tourist centre, has become the focus of increased attention by Al-Shabaab. Many of its impoverished areas have been highly Islamized and the city has been rocked by terrorist attacks over the past few years. Government control has been greatly diminished in much of the city.

Fears for the womens' safe return have been compounded by the lack of information from Tanzanian authorities.
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