German charged with 'terror' links: prosecutors

23rd August 2010, Comments 0 comments

German prosecutors said Monday they had charged a 28-year-old man with suspected links to an Islamic militant cell that planned to murder US soldiers and civilians in Germany.

The German citizen, identified only as Salih S., was charged August 12 with "supporting a foreign terrorist organisation" and "membership of a foreign terrorist organisation," federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Prosecutors say S. became a member "at the latest in May 2007" of the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), an extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda.

He allegedly also provided equipment to a member of the so-called Sauerland cell, which in March was convicted of mounting what the court called the biggest terror plot in German post-war history.

"This included three GPS devices, night-vision goggles and three compass watches as well as other equipment," the statement said.

S. was arrested in Turkey in November 2008 but released in February 2009 on bail. He was taken into custody again in June this year on the basis of a German arrest warrant and extradited in July.

He is also suspected of travelling to an IJU camp in the Pakistani militant stronghold Waziristan in March 2007 to receive training after which he took part in "several combat missions" for the group.

The four-member Sauerland cell, which included two German converts to Islam, was sentenced to between five and 12 years in prison for planning to stage what the court called a "monstrous bloodbath" with car bombings in German cities.

German authorities thwarted the plot by arresting the group in September 2007.

© 2010 AFP

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