Terrorism: Politicians Warn of Increased Terror Threat in Germany

Politicians in Germany warned Saturday of the dangers posed by Islamists, following the arrest of two terrorist suspects and a police search for two others. The arrests took place in Cologne on Friday when a Somali and a German of Somali descent were escorted off a plane bound for the Dutch city Amsterdam. German prosecutors on Saturday were granted arrest warrants for the two men by a local court. Chief prosecutor Fred Apostel said evidence provided by police showed the pair “were planning to carry out an attack in the near future.” Security sources said the pair had been under observation for months and were planning to travel via the Netherlands to a training camp for militants on the Pakistan-Afghan border. A search of their apartment had turned up letters in which the two men, who are in their 20s, had declared their readiness to die in a jihad or holy war, the sources said. Police apparently stepped in to prevent them from joining their comrades in the Islamic Jihad Union, (IJU), often described as a successor to the terrorist network al Qaeda.

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Germany Arrests 2 Suspected in Terror Plot

German police arrested two men near Frankfurt on terrorism charges Friday, alleging they were involved in a cell that had plotted to blow up U.S. targets in Germany a year ago. Federal prosecutors said the two suspects — a German citizen and a Turkish national — had traveled separately to Pakistan during 2007 in an attempt to receive training at camps operated by the Islamic Jihad Union, a terrorist group allied with al-Qaeda. Authorities said the men had shared bank account information and a debit card with three men arrested in September 2007 on suspicion of planning mass bombing attacks on U.S. targets in Germany. Prosecutors identified the German citizen as Omid S., a 27-year-old of Afghan descent, and said he had received training at a militant camp along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border during the spring and summer of 2007. The Turkish man, identified as 27-year-old Hueseyin O., also traveled to the region last year, prosecutors said. Before he could reach the camp, however, he was detained by Pakistani security forces and forced to return to Germany, according to a statement released by the German federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe. Craig Whitlock reports.

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