Germany: Terror arrests

Germany announced Wednesday the arrest of three people on suspicion of planning "imminent" terror attacks, with Frankfurt airport and the giant US military base in Ramstein among the reported targets.

Confirming the arrests on German television, Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung stressed there had been "an imminent threat".

SWR public radio reported that the suspects had been planning to bomb Frankfurt airport, one of Europe's busiest, and Ramstein in western Germany, the headquarters of US Air Forces in Europe and a key staging post for US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The federal prosecutor's office said the suspects were members of "a terrorist organisation with Islamic motivations."

The three were arrested on Tuesday and searches then took place in several states in Germany, a statement from prosecutors said.

The suspects were to appear before a federal court later on Wednesday.

Government security sources told AFP two of the suspects were Germans who had converted to Islam while the third was Pakistani, although other reports said the third suspect held Turkish and German passports.

The sources said all three had "links" to Pakistan and had been experimenting with explosives and trying to build car bombs.

The arrests come after police in Denmark said on Tuesday they had foiled a terrorist attack after arresting eight men they said had links to Al-Qaeda.

Germany, which has about 3,000 soldiers serving in Afghanistan, has been on high alert for several months.

The US embassy in Germany said in April it was increasing security at US facilities in the country in response to "a heightened threat situation".

Rolf Tophoven, a leading expert on terrorism in Germany, told NTV television that the arrests showed "that the threat to Germany is not abstract and the country has been in the firing line of terrorists for some time".

He added that he believed the arrests on Tuesday were the result of cooperation between German and US authorities.

Source: AFP (English)

1 comment:

kleinverzet said...

I have pictures and more info on the native German terrorists arrested:

http://kleinverzet.blogspot.com/2007/09/new-faces-of-jihad.html