Five Islamists prompted terrorism alert

14th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 May 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Five Islamists living in the Frankfurt area of Germany were reported to have been behind the threat which led to a major anti-terrorism alert at nearby US military bases last month. The April 20 alert, which was widely reported at the time, resurfaced Friday in US television news reports, but both German and US officials denied there had been any fresh alert. The German weekly news magazine Focus said Saturday it had reported a week ago on the Islamists, two of them German conve

14 May 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Five Islamists living in the Frankfurt area of Germany were reported to have been behind the threat which led to a major anti-terrorism alert at nearby US military bases last month.

The April 20 alert, which was widely reported at the time, resurfaced Friday in US television news reports, but both German and US officials denied there had been any fresh alert.

The German weekly news magazine Focus said Saturday it had reported a week ago on the Islamists, two of them German converts to Islam and the other three Germans of Turkish origin.

Quoting police sources, it said they had filmed valedictory messages by men who intended to die in an attack on a base. There are numerous US facilities within two hours drive of the Frankfurt metropolitan area.

Focus saying they belonged to Islamic Jihad Union, a group affiliated to al-Qaeda which has been blamed for 52 killings in Uzbekistan. The five Germans had undergone military training in Pakistan.

German federal prosecutors, who lead the fight against terrorism, declined comment Saturday on the Focus story.

ABC and CNN television of the United States reported Friday that the plot was at an advanced stage.

ABC suggested the US supreme command for Europe in Stuttgart might have been the target, with the attackers planning to invade it with guns and bombs.

The US embassy in Berlin said April 20 that security was being increased at diplomatic posts and military installations and urged Americans in Germany to take steps to protect themselves.

"This is the threat that is still out there," said a US official, who spoke to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on condition of anonymity.

"A lot of people in a lot of places are working hard to unravel" the threat, the official said Friday.

In Berlin, an interior ministry spokesman said there was no immediate danger to US installations in Germany.

The spokesman said the plot "concerns a known issue that prompted US officials to issue a warning to Americans in Germany several weeks ago."

Focus said there had infighting among security agencies over the inquiry.

The US Central Intelligence Agency CIA and its German domestic intelligence counterpart, the BfV Office for the Protection of the Constitution, agreed not to tell German police about surveillance of the five for fear of leaks.

However the Air Intelligence Agency, a branch of the US Air Force, told the chief of Stuttgart police, who circularized German police nationwide.

The German police were scathing about the BfV, saying BfV agents waited in a car outside one of the suspects' apartments and were immediately noticed by him, Focus said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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