Defendant claims bomb plot was meant to scare German public
Despite being caught on security cameras planting bombs on German trains, the courts are still hesitant to rule.
DUESSELDORF - A Lebanese man on trial for a failed plot to bomb packed German passenger trains told a court toward the close of his trail on Tuesday that he never intended to kill anyone.
Yusef Mohammed al-Hajj Dib, 24, said the homemade bombs he and an associate planted in suitcases and placed in packed rail carriages were never intended to go off but rather were aimed at frightening the German public.
"I swear by God Almighty that it was never my intention to kill," he said in a final statement to the court. He added that he knew "there would be no explosion" when he left the device on the train. "If it had been my intention to kill people than I would have taken a lot more care."
Dib's defence team argued that he and Hamad simply wanted to shock the German public after satirical cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed were published in newspapers in the country.
Men, identified as Dib and a Lebanese associate, Jihad Hamad, were captured on security cameras putting the baggage on the trains.
Prosecutors argue the explosions could have killed up to 75 people. They added that it was only due to a technical fault that a bloodbath was prevented. Investigators say the bomb scheme was modelled according to the train blasts of Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005.
Hamad, who is serving a 12 year sentence in Lebanon over the case, told investigators that the two had intended to kill as many people as possible. However, Dib said Hamad was lying and had only confessed, "because he was tortured."
State prosecutors have demanded life imprisonment for Dib, whom they describe as a hardened Islamic extremist who aimed to kill several innocent civilians and "spread fear and horror."
A verdict had been expected in late Nov. but after final arguments were delivered from both sides, the court requested detailed transcripts of Hamad's interrogation in Beirut. A ruling is now expected next Tuesday.