German would-be bombers targeted US bases

6th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 October 2007, Hamburg (dpa) - Three Islamists arrested last month in Germany on terrorism charges discussed how to avoid killing too many women and children when setting off car bombs at US bases, according to tapped calls quoted by the news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday. German investigators nabbed the three, two of them ethnic Germans who had converted to Islam, in a remote village amid fears that they were about to deploy three car bombs, each packed with 250 kilograms of home-made explosives. Both

6 October 2007

Hamburg (dpa) - Three Islamists arrested last month in Germany on terrorism charges discussed how to avoid killing too many women and children when setting off car bombs at US bases, according to tapped calls quoted by the news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.

German investigators nabbed the three, two of them ethnic Germans who had converted to Islam, in a remote village amid fears that they were about to deploy three car bombs, each packed with 250 kilograms of home-made explosives.

Both Der Spiegel and another news magazine, Focus, said the detonators obtained by the trio were smuggled into Germany unawares by a 15-year-old boy. Police had interrogated the boy, a Tunisian national living in Germany.

The detonators had been concealed in the soles of shoes carried in a plastic bag. The boy said he was approached by a stranger in an Istanbul mosque and given money to take the shoes to Germany.

Focus said it approached the boy, expected to be a key witness at the trial, and he said he had not been a party to the plot, adding, "I'm not a terrorist."

The office of the German federal prosecutor-general declined comment Saturday on the Focus and Spiegel reports.

The magazines did not say how they had obtained leaks from the continuing police inquiry into the plot.

Spiegel said surveillance of the trio before their arrest showed they wanted to kill US citizens, and spoke of possible targets including the huge US Air Force transport base at Ramstein on Germany's western rim.

In the discussions they rejected attacks on US military supermarkets since women and children would be present.

Der Spiegel said the mysterious backers of the trio, the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), which police believed operated out of Pakistan and Iran, had pressed the three during August to strike, with an IJU operative code-named "Jaf" telling them to "take the test."

On August 24, one of the trio told another, "The boss says we have to get the job done within 15 days. Otherwise we have go back."

The group was arrested on September 4.

Germany's Environment Ministry confirmed Saturday a report in Der Spiegel that Germany was planning to restrict trading in nine chemicals which can be used to make explosives.

Vendors would have to keep a sales log and record the names and identity documents of all buyers, while online sales of such chemicals to private individuals would be banned.

The alleged plotters had acquired 12 barrels of hydrogen peroxide, which is part of a bomb-making recipe.

DPA

Subject: German news

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