German police detain third man over train bomb plot

25th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

25 August 2006, KONSTANZ/BEIRUT- Police in Germany detained a third man Friday over a bungled attempt, allegedly by two Lebanese students, to blow up German trains three weeks ago. The bombers, who were filmed by security cameras at Cologne Station as they carried suitcases with bombs inside aboard trains, were detained earlier. Police are now searching for others who were in the plot. In Germany, armed police raided a student hostel in the southern city of Konstanz at dawn and detained a man described as

25 August 2006

KONSTANZ/BEIRUT- Police in Germany detained a third man Friday over a bungled attempt, allegedly by two Lebanese students, to blow up German trains three weeks ago.

The bombers, who were filmed by security cameras at Cologne Station as they carried suitcases with bombs inside aboard trains, were detained earlier. Police are now searching for others who were in the plot.

In Germany, armed police raided a student hostel in the southern city of Konstanz at dawn and detained a man described as an acquaintance of Youssef al-Hajdib, 21, the alleged bomber who was arrested in Germany a week ago.

Prosecutors said he was suspected of being part of the terrorist cell, but it was still unclear if he really had been involved in the plot. Sources told DPA that police raided two university halls of residence at Konstanz, on the Swiss border, as they searched for him.

In Lebanon, Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said a fourth man who was summoned for questioning was not a suspect or under arrest, but was only a witness helping police with their inquiries.

Police sources said he was 24 and identified him by the initials "K H D." The minister said he was only called in "because he is a relative of al-Hajdib who was arrested in Germany.

"The investigators wanted extra information on Youssef," he said.

In Beirut, German and Lebanese police were jointly questioning Jihad Hamad, 20, an alleged bomber who turned himself over to police in Tripoli on Thursday.

Joerg Ziercke, the head of Germany's Federal Crime Office BKA, had earlier sidestepped when asked to confirm a news report that police believed seven men had been privy to the July 31 plot, which was Germany's closest shave yet with post-2001 terrorism.

Lebanese judicial sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, "Hamad gave important and valuable information about more suspects that might be involved in this network," adding that he had been "calm and composed" during interrogation.

Several national Islamic groups in Germany issued Friday a joint condemnation of terrorism, saying the Cologne attacks, which reportedly failed because of construction flaws in the bombs, had filled them with disgust.

The 16 signatory groups included a main Turkish Muslim group, DITIB, as well as two rival national Islamic councils.

DPA

Subject: German news

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