5 November 2010
German police arrested a man on Friday over videos published on the Internet threatening bomb attacks unless an Islamist jailed earlier this year is released, authorities said.
Last month, three videos appeared on the Internet calling for Daniel Schneider to be released or sent to Afghanistan by the end of November. If not, the videos warned of bomb attacks in Germany.
A German convert to Islam, Schneider was one of four members of the so-called Sauerland cell jailed in March for a thwarted plot to attack US soldiers and civilians in Germany.
Four Islamic militants standing trial for planning big bomb attacks on U.S. targets in Germany have confessed to the charges, defense lawyers said on Thursday. The planned attacks were designed to be as destructive as the September 11, 2001 strikes in the United States, prosecutors said, adding that the defendants had identified bars, discos and the U.S. Ramstein air base as possible targets. Johannes Pausch, the lawyer representing defendant Daniel Schneider, said all four militants were making confessions. “My client is currently doing so; yesterday, today and tomorrow at the Federal Crime Office,” he told Reuters.”The others are also in the process of doing so. The whole thing should be concluded this week.” The charges against the four men include preparing bomb attacks and being members of a terrorist organization. If convicted, they face up to 15 years in jail. Lawyer Pausch said his client was hoping to get a reduced sentence by confessing. Two defendants, Schneider and Fritz Gelowicz, are German converts to Islam, while Atilla Selek is a German citizen of Turkish origin, and Adem Yilmaz is a Turkish citizen. Schneider would plead guilty in court to planning the attacks, Pausch said. Matthias Inverardi Reports.
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.