Muslim converts accused of holy war bomb plots

Two Muslim converts and two Turks go on trial in a bomb-proof courtroom in Düsseldorf today accused of plotting to blow up German civilians and US soldiers. “The world will burn!” boasted an intercepted e-mail sent between the accused, who are alleged to have wanted to wage an Islamic holy war in the heart of Europe. Three of the men — Fritz Gelowicz, 29, Daniel Schneider, 23 and the Turkish national Adem Yilmaz, 30 — are accused of attending a training camp on the Afghan-Pakistani frontier run by an Uzbek-based terror organisation known as the Islamic Jihad Union.

Intelligence services say that it has links with al-Qaeda. Using detonators — supplied, the state prosecutor claims, by Attila Selek, 24, a German citizen of Turkish origin — the gang prepared bombs with the explosive force of 410kg (904lb) of TNT, to be set off in and around the US Ramstein air base and other targets. The bombers in London on July 7, 2005, had 4kg of explosive.

Deadline for Canadian Muslim woman held hostage by the Taliban extended

The Islamic militants holding a Canadian hostage at the Afghan-Pakistani border region have extended the deadline for their ransom demands to be met, according to an associate of the Taliban commander thought to be in control of her. In a video released last month, West Vancouver resident Beverly Giesbrecht, 53, said her captors would behead her if their demands for $350,000 (U.S.) weren’t met by the end of March. She was seized at gunpoint in the Bannu region of northern Pakistan in November.

German residents active in terror abroad

German officials fear that at least four Islamists from Germany were trained in terror camps on the Afghan-Pakistani border. According to Germany’s Federal Criminal Office, four men in their 20s are being trained to launch terror attacks in Germany, according to a report in the latest issue of German news magazine Der Spiegel. At the end of last year, 20-year-old Eric B., a German convert to Islam, and 23-year-old Houssain al-M., a stateless man of Lebanese origin, traveled to Pakistan via Dubai and Iran, the magazine said. They are believed to belong to a German cell of the Islamic Jihad Union, which had planned terror attacks in Germany last autumn. The cell was squashed and authorities arrested three suspects in September. The article notes that two more men who have disappeared from Germany are believed to be trained in terror camps. Twenty-five-year-old German national Salih S. from the state of Hesse vanished after leaving behind a letter to his family, saying that he would join the jihad. Another suspect, Cuneyt C., 28, cleared out his apartment in Bavaria and left for Pakistan, the report said. According to e-mails he sent, officials believe that he and his entire family are pursuing to become terrorists.

Report: German Nationals Get Training in Terror Camps

German officials fear that at least four Islamists have left Germany for terror training in camps along the Afghan-Pakistani border, according to a news report. Now the main objective is to keep them from returning. German news magazine Der Spiegel reported in its edition on Monday, Feb. 11, that officials for Germany’s federal criminal police (BKA) believe the four men in their twenties are being trained to conduct terror attacks in Germany. At the end of last year, 20-year-old Eric B., a German convert to Islam, and 23-year-old Houssain al-M., a stateless man of Lebanese origin, headed to Pakistan via Dubai and Iran, according to the report. Both men are thought to belong to a group called Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) in the southwestern state of Saarland, which had planned a major terror attack in Germany in the fall of 2007. German officials prevented that attack and arrested three terror suspects in September.