German, foreign secret services aware of PKK activities in EU, PKK leader says
German and other foreign intelligence services, as well as European politicians, have long been aware of the outlawed terrorist organization, the PKK's activities in Europe and have maintained communication, as acknowledged by Abdul Rahman Haji Ahmadi aka Haji Ahmadi, the leader of the PKK's Iranian offshoot Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), while talking to German TV station Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) way back in 2007.
Haji Ahmadi, who holds a German citizenship and lives there, told the WDR that he kept in touch with foreign secret services, including Germany's Federal Intelligence Service or the Bundesnachrichtendienst.
"A young man came and said he was from the BND. He asked what everyone else asks, and I have given the same answer I've given to you," Ahmedi said, and continued that they knew exactly who he was.
"I have been in Europe for more than 43 years, mostly in Germany and they also know who I am. They also know since when I have been leading the PJAK/PKK."
In the interview, Ahmedi told the WDR that his organization enjoys "protection from the top" and that U.S. generals in Iraq did not oppose the PJAK's activities, and even visited their camps.
"We are positive towards the Americans," he said, and continued by adding that he believes 'PJAK and PKK work for the benefit of the U.S.', even though it recognizes both as a terrorist organization.
He noted that American generals who visited PJAK camps respected the organization.
In response to a question about the "success" in recruiting new terrorists from Europe, Ahmedi said many Kurdish youth, including girls join the group, while some prefer joining the PKK in Turkey.
Hans-Christian Ströbele, a member of the parliamentary committee that oversees German intelligence, criticized German institutions for gross negligence.
He told the WDR that German judicial authorities must launch an investigation into the issue, as it involves indictable offences including the recruitment of militants for terrorist organizations, and establishing a terrorist organization.
The PJAK is a part of the armed terrorist group the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), which includes terrorist groups functioning under the names of the PKK in Turkey, the Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PÇDK) in Iraq, and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria.
Turkey has often criticized Europe for turning a blind eye to the activities of the PKK terrorist group.
Despite Turkey's strong ties with the 28-member bloc in terms of economic relations, the EU's tolerance against terrorism and its criticism of Turkey regarding counterterror operations in its southeastern provinces have heightened tensions in an already strained diplomatic relations between the two sides.
The PKK terror group has been freely holding rallies across European capitals, with the authorization of EU officials, despite the PKK being listed as a terror organization by the bloc.