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Journalist Jurgen Todenhofer fabricates Nusra Front's interview

Writing by Ethar Abdulhaq

(Zaman Al Wasl)- The German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer broadcasted a video recording which he described as the most difficult interview he has ever conducted in Syria. The interview took place 10 days ago with a commander from al-Nusra Front, as he called, who spoke honestly of Washington’s support for the Front subordinate to al-Qaeda.

In his introduction of the video, Todenhofer claimed that his meeting was just a participatory attempt to understand what is happening in Syria, and explain to Western politicians “who support al-Qaeda and its allies in Syria.”

Zaman al-Wasl followed this meeting and emerged with the impression that Abu al-Aaz whom Todenhofer situated as a commander in al-Nusra Front is nothing more than an agent of the al-Assad regime. From his looks and his manner of speaking he appears as an intelligence assistant which the description Syrians give to known regime agents regardless of their rank or job.


Zaman al-Wasl scrutinized the details of the meeting and focused on Abu al-Ez’s movements, and his choice of words which was completely distinct to al-Qaeda’s speech and the speech of all Islamic organizations generally.

The first noticeable thing about Abu al-Ez is his manner of wearing his military gear and placing a hand grenade and wireless device on his chest which is the more common way of wearing it among regime soldiers and officers in contrast to the Jihadist organization commanders who do not appear in this manner.

A hanging belly, an over shirt that tapers at a white pair of trousers which have never seen the dust of battle! In addition to the slippers which we could not understand the photographer’s reason for emphasizing the slippers, and there is no meaning to this explanation other than it proving that he is a member of the regime forces known commonly by Syrians as “the slipper army.”

All these details which we extracted from the report wane before two other details. The first is Abu al-Ez placing a copy of the Quran above the ground at a level approximate to or a little lower than the level of Todenhofer’s and Abu al-Ez’s feet without any feeling of embarrassment. Secondly, Abu al-Aaz wore a gold ring on one of his fingers which he waved in front of the camera.

And from the cliché visual performances which Todenhofer, his guest Abu al-Ez and whomever arranged their meeting fell into, Zaman al-Wasl will move on to another level analyzing Abu al-Ez’s speech to clarify without an arguable doubt the extent of his contradiction, the stupidity of his claims, and naivety to the extent that only two main sections could believe him. The first believe the lie because they benefit from it and the section who are detached from reality and know nothing about Syria or the regime or Jihadist organizations where they believe any person speaking on the basis they are Islamic although his discourse lacked any Islamic terms.

Abu Al-Ez said at the start of the interview in a direct manner, “we are part of al-Qaeda, it is our principles which means it is right and truthful.” Then he naively and directly moves to say, “now (about) Israel…. Israel gives us assistance, because it has a part in wars with for example, with Syria with Hezbollah… with.”

Abu al-Ez moves on to confirm al-Nusra’s- al-Nusra and not Fatih al-Sham- relationship with Islamic State which he referred to as Daesh. He said, “we are, I told you, we are one chapter, but in al-Nusra, meaning Daesh was used for political issues, meaning they diverted it from our principles.”

Then Abu al-ez moves further and further out of context, like a freight train at high speed. He used terms outside the Islamic movements dictionaries (dictatorship, Arab world, strategy… for example). He spoke of Khalid Bin al-Walid, and does not precede his name with the title al-Sahabi, and does not follow it with the phrase (may Allah be pleased with him). He said, “our aim is to overthrow the dictator regimes, the tyrannical regimes, and apostate regimes, and perform conquests as Khalid Bin al-Walid did in the past, do (conquests) in the Arab world and move to Europe.”

Screaming Contradictions

To complete the circle of killer hiccups and mishaps, Todenhofer directed a question to his guest to the effect, “does the United States provide you with support?” Abu al-Ez responded simply clarifying that the United States, “supports the countries that support us,” claiming with all audacity that Washington presents them with direct support by exporting them, “more developed weapons than this.” He continued, “we gained the battle with the missiles they gave us, meaning we took a good strategy (!) with the regime, meaning we have equivalence, and the tanks which came to us (they provided us)… tanks come to us from Libya through Turkey.” He then repeated confirming the importance of the American Tao missile in controlling some battles, claiming that these missiles came directly to al-Nusra Front and were not confiscated from some of the Free Syrian Army factions.

He continues with the same naivety as if he is reading from a book disseminated by the political administrative in the regime army, “we have officers Turkish, Qatari, Saudi, Israeli, American… the Americans are standing with us, but not in the way it should (not as they should).”

Abu al-Ez proposed numbers for the financial sums al-Nusra leaders are receiving and of them 500 million received from Saudi Arabic to support the control of the 47 regiment, one million and a half support from Kuwait to take control of the infantry school, and an additional 5 million US Dollars from Saudi Arabia. It must be noted that the actors who liberated the infantry school is known to everyone.

Abu al-Ez contradicted himself and dropped the scenario he prepared into another whole when Todenhofer warned him of the difficulty of battle and the escalated difficulties and the Russian support for the regime. He responded, “we want to fight Russia, and we want to fight the West, because the west is not standing with us… the west is sending us Jihadists and… (stammers) facilitating them crossing over to us… why did not support us (he pronounces it in Fusha Arabic),” as if Abu al-Ez is depending on his audience having a memory shorter than a fish’s when he had just admitted western cooperation and support for them, including Israel!
Abu al-Ez continues, “we have many Jihadists, there some from Germany (he mentioned it first to honor his guest is appears), from Britain, from American, from all the countries…”

Abu al-Ez promised to launch a destructive attack on the regime, to not commit to the ceasefire also indicating that they do not allow the entrance of aid trucks continuing, “any truck which enters, the driver will be arrested.”

Abu al-Ez said that regime hit them with “strong” weapons, continuing, “we now have the trusteeship, we now have collapse,” promising to regroup their forces and attack once more to overthrow the regime.

With the answer of someone who memorized the answer, Abu al-Ez said that all the factions merged with al-Nusra including Jaish al-Islam, the Islamic Front… with the knowledge that the Islamic Front is a theoretical organization that does not exist in reality especially after the disbanding of the al-Tawhid Brigade.

Abu al-Ez did not forget to indicate that all the factions are cut from the same cloth and doctrine and the difference is in their names only.

Todenhofer then asked an objecting and demonstrative question about Mohammad Alloush one of the big negotiators in the Geneva negotiations, but it appeared as a meditative question from Bashar al-Jaffari more than a journalistic question.

Todenhofer inquired of his guest about Alloush, so he responded, “we are the extremes called mercenaries, we are Alloush and no Alloush. Did he fight with al-Nusra Front, we are the faction which Turkey took, and made the moderate Free Army, they were with us, they were with al-Nusra, but they are weak souls, they work for those who pay them more money, they work as those countries want to, meeting their demands.”

Abu al-Ez described the commanders of Jaish al-Islam and the Islamic Front as western productions, forgetting that he had said a few minutes before that they and others are merged with al-Nusra Front and only differ in terms of name.
From Todenhofer’s Record

Zaman al-Wasl previously published a report about the German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament as part of the German Christian Democratic Union Party who was described, based on facts and leaks, as “the favorite journalist with Bashar al-Baghdadi (Islamic State Head).”
Todenhofer is known as the first western journalist who Islamic State granted the right to enter is territories in Syria and Iraq based on a security deed which allowed him to move around the lands of Caliph without being subject to anyone in contrast to ISIS’s usually treatment of journalists.

Two years before Todenhofer obtained ISIS’s approval, he obtained the regime’s approval! In July 2012, he conducted an interview with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Emails leaked from the regime archive (published by Now newspaper in 2015) shows the series of hot emails exchanged between Todenhofer and Shahrazad al-Jaffari whom he called the Princess of the Middle East.

The German journalist repeatedly congratulated Shahrazad on her supposed success in improving the image of Bashar al-Assad and he encouraged the regime authorities and Bashar saying that he “is doing well,” and he “is the only leader” able to provide, “a stable, modern, and democratic future” for Syria.
In the following some of the excerpts listed in chronological order:
6 December 2011
From: Jurgen Todenhofer
To: Shahrazad al-Jaffari (she forwarded it to Bashar al-Assad)


Dear princess of the middle east!

What a grea idea, let us make Syria the democratic chief of the Arab world and I will spend the time available to me there- in the greatest country with the greatest princess.
What about our interview with the president? It is very important that we show his motivation and his reality. Do no give up!

Here I am under heavy fire because I wrote some articles and and exhibited with Julia a film with over two million Germans saw- trying to be objective. I said that he (Bashar) is the only person qualified to find a peaceful road towards democracy. In this historical hour. Also time is running out fast- also with respect to the interview. It will be a great opportunity to see you.
Yours truly

16 December 2011
From: Shahrazad al-Jaffari
To: Bashar al-Assad

I hope you know on the tennis court today! You should be professional by now. I met Qaftan yesterday and he was completely satisfied with Jurgen Todenhofer the German thinker. He said he has an influence on prevalent thought about Syria if it arrives in Germany. Many interviews are done with him and yesterday he wrote an article that was published by seven major newspapers. He expressed many positive comments about your person and about Syria as a country!! I am very happy about that!!

18 December 2011
From: Jurgen Todenhofer
To: Shahrazad al-Jaffari (forwarded to Bashar al-Assad)
My dear Shahrazad

How are you? I hope you are exhausted by all the German journalists coming today to Syria. But this is the correct strategy to open your country to international press. Here in Germany articles, even television reports are becoming more objective, and this is your success too. So continue what you are doing!

I have received many criticisms in Germany claiming that I am very friendly with the president (Bashar) and I do no criticism him enough. But this is life.
I have some great ideas for you and your country. But alas emails are not confidential enough, so I will wait until I met you in South Tyrol or in Damascus.
I hope you have a great week with all those great journalists.

21 December 2011
From: Jurgen Todenhofer
To: Shahrazad al-Jaffari (forwarded to Bashar al-Assad)


There is a very important objective article from Avenarius! You must get it translated from the German embassy and disseminated it to your people! Even your president! Keep inviting new journalists even if they are at times critical. Yesterday I read some smart statements by your minister of foreign affairs about future Syria as a democratic example. Very good!
My greetings to you from snow covered Munich!
16 January 2012
From: Jurgen Todenhofer
To: Shahrazad al-Jaffari (forwarded to Bashar al-Assad)

My dear princess Shahrazad,
Congratulations on the general amnesty. This is the correct strategy!! Your president is doing very well-congratulations.

29 January 2012
From: Jurgen Todenhofer

To Shahrazad al-Jaffari (she forwarded it to Bashar al-Assad)


Hello princess,

I am delighted in my correspondence with you. Freddy is also infatuated. We all miss you. Please give my warm regards to your president if you would. Some in Germany want to kill me because of the interviews I did regarding Syria. The claims are tangible. But they want the killers to wear your army’s military outfit so your government is accused of killing me. Beautiful no? but this time we must really do something amazing together, something that will destroy the satanic strategy western countries and Aljazeera are following. You know that is only possible with him. It will be the best interview he does in his life- and it will be distributed all over the world.

He is the only leader able to give your country a stable, democratic, and modern future without any control form outside. This must be clarified to the world and to your people.

Let us do it then. There is nothing stronger than an idea when its time has come. Time is on our side now. So please fight for him and for your country!
Jurgen from Cairo

A Jewish proposition and confidential details

Other than Jaber and Todenhofer, a group of electronic emails were leaked, some of them Shahrazad al-Jaffari wrote to Bashar al-Assad in August 2011 informing him of the discussion during her meeting that morning with doctor Alon Ben-Meir, an Israeli academic in New York University who writes fiercely in newspapers about political affairs in the middle east, and a previous participant in peace negotiations between Syria and Israel.

During the meeting the two discussed (al-Jaffari and Ben-Meir) what appeared to be a proposal to send a group of international students and research center analysts to Syria. The following is Shahrazad’s email to Bashar al-Assad about the issue:
12 August 2011
From: Shahrazad al-Jaffari
To: Bashar al-Assad

I hope you are well. This morning I studied the proposal with Professor Alon Ben-Meir. He is a well-known professor teaching politics in New York University. He found (it) very important and he will work on it during the end of the week. He underwent a surgical operation a few days ago and he promised to put a detailed proposal including all the details which he will present to Leen. He believes, and I agree with him, that we should include in the delegation: students (masters and doctoral level), some high ranking members of important research centers such as CFR (Council for Foreign Affairs), and The Century Foundation, and the total number will be 15 in total.

I propose we provide the suitable ground for such a visit versus American political policies towards Syria, and that we keep the situation calm in the country for a few days whereby the announcement of the visit will have positive influence. He believes that our opinion about the political events will guarantee the success of the visit.
There are some confidential details that I would like to explain to you over the phone.

He is Jewish which gives the issue a degree of importance
Thank you.

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