No Comment — September 5, 2007, 11:28 am

Terror Arrests in Germany

Big news in the world, but you wouldn’t know it from our papers and broadcast media. Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung reports:

Terror in Germany: Investigations focus on 8 Terror suspects
According to information from the Interior Ministry of the Saarland, investigations are under way focusing on 8 suspects in connection with foiled terrorist attacks. Three of the men have already been seized according to information furnished federal prosecutors on Tuesday. Arrest warrants issued against them. Two of the men still at large are from the area of Neunkirchen, according to information furnished on Wednesday in Saarbrücken.

No arrest warrants have yet issued in their cases. Eight of the accused are the subjects of investigations concerning suspicion of membership in a terrorist association.

One of the two Saarlanders is said to be a German, the other an Iranian citizen, according to the Saarland’s Interior Ministry. The German is thought to be abroad at present, and the Iranian had been sojourning for a brief period in the Saarland following his release from prison in Pakistan, where he had been charged with entering the country illegally.

One of the three men seized on Tuesday also comes from the Saarland. The subject, a 22 year-old freelancer was born in Neunkirchen and had most recently lived in Saarbrücken. All of the suspects from the Saarland had been meeting regularly in a mosque in Neunkirchen. This was, however, not the site at which they formed their plans.

U.S. authorities have in the meantime confirmed that the three terror suspects already seized had taken Frankfurt Airport and the U.S. Air Base in Ramstein as their principal targets. The three men had also contemplated attacks on other installations, according to a senior official of the State Department in Washington.

A Terrorist Splinter Group from Uzbekistan
The three terror suspects said to have planned massive attacks in Germany are in accordance with investigations to date members of a German cell of the Islamic Jihad Union. This organization is said to stand in close contact with al Qaeda.

The Islamic Jihad Union is according to information provided by Attorney General Monika Harms a Sunni group which is principally active in Central Asia, which split off of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The German cell was founded in the winter of 2006.

According to a report of the U.S. Department of State from April 2007, this group is pursuing objectives in Uzbekistan such as the toppling of Uzbek President Islam Karimov and the establishment there of an Islamic state. In early 2004 a total of 47 people were killed in attacks on local markets and police stations according to this information, among them 33 terrorists.

(dpa/ap)(S.H. transl.)

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