German accuses Turkish 'agent' of aiding terror plot

21st August 2009, Comments 0 comments

The suspect, Turkish-born German Atilla Selek, said Mevlut Kar had helped the group of four Islamic extremists now on trial in Germany obtain several detonators to mount at least three major car bombings.

Düsseldorf -- A man on trial over a thwarted plot to attack US soldiers and diplomats stationed in Germany implicated a purported Turkish agent in the scheme in court testimony Thursday.

The suspect, Turkish-born German Atilla Selek, said Mevlut Kar had helped the group of four Islamic extremists now on trial in Germany obtain several detonators to mount at least three major car bombings.

Selek has, along with the three other defendants, pleaded guilty before the court in this western German city to membership of a terrorist group and plotting explosives attacks.

A federal court this week issued an international arrest warrant against the 30-year-old Kar, who is thought to be in Turkey, over involvement in the conspiracy.

"Kar had sufficient contacts that I needed to use to ship the detonators to Germany," Selek, 24, told investigators according to testimony read in court Thursday.

"Without Kar, I would not have managed to bring the detonators (to Germany)."

He said Kar "does dangerous things with the secret services," adding "I know that he works with the Turkish secret services."

Selek added that although Kar wanted to help the four men launch devastating attacks against US military installations and American envoys in Germany, he did not share their Islamic extremist convictions.

"He wasn't doing it for Allah but rather for his own interests," he said.

Turkish daily Vatan had reported Thursday that German officials had asked the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) about Kar.

The MIT confirmed only that Kar had served as an informer until 2002 but said it had no record of working with Kar during the period between 2006 and 2007 in which he allegedly worked with the four men in Germany.

It added that Kar's father had been a high-ranking officer with the Istanbul police.

German media have speculated that the case could cause friction between Berlin and Ankara if Kar is proved to be a Turkish agent.

The four defendants are charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation -- the Islamic Jihadic Union (IJU) in Pakistan, an extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda.

They were also charged with having plotted to stage attacks with explosives in September 2007, which was when police arrested them.

Prosecutors say the group, known as the Sauerland cell after the region where they were captured, wanted to carry out attacks on the same scale as those of September 11, 2001 on the United States which killed nearly 3,000 people.

The four defendants, on trial in Germany since April, could face 15 years in prison.

AFP/Expatica

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