Germany arrests man suspected of al-Qaeda link
10 July 2006, HAMBURG - Germany has arrested a man of Moroccan origin on suspicion of terrorism after finding evidence that linked him to al-Qaeda and suicide attacks in Iraq, federal prosecutors disclosed Saturday.
10 July 2006
HAMBURG - Germany has arrested a man of Moroccan origin on suspicion of terrorism after finding evidence that linked him to al-Qaeda and suicide attacks in Iraq, federal prosecutors disclosed Saturday.
Police monitored Redouane E H, 36, on the internet as he aired his Islamist opinions on chat websites and offered to help volunteers go to Iraq to conduct suicide bombings. There was no evidence he was planning attacks in Europe.
The police took H into custody Thursday in Hamburg as signs grew that he intended to leave Germany soon.
Prosecutors described H as "of Moroccan origin" but did not identify his citizenship. His full name was withheld.
The man, who lived in the city of Kiel, north of Hamburg, had acted as an intermediary in contacts with Said Bahaji, who is wanted worldwide as one of the plotters of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
H had attended a training course in the use of explosives last November in Algeria with a terrorist group there and was also in contact with violent Islamists in Syria, Algeria and Iraq.
After the arrest, police searched several homes in Kiel.
The prosecutors, based in the south-west city of Karlsruhe, said suspicion against H had mounted "because of his statements during internet chats." He had attempted to recruit people for suicide attacks and offered to pass funds to groups mounting such attacks.
At a hearing before a federal magistrate, he was remanded in custody on suspicion of the second-degree crime of supporting al- Qaeda rather than the first-degree charge of actually being a member of it.
Police forces round the world are still hunting for Bahaji, who vanished from Hamburg just before the suicide-hijack attacks on New York and Washington, but has sent messages to his wife in Germany.
The prosecutors said Saturday that they were convinced the fugitive Bahaji was still involved with al-Qaeda.
"He knows that in order to keep his current place of residence a secret he can only contact his wife via messengers who are trained in covert methods," a prosecutor said. "Only a person from the Qaeda logistics network would be entrusted with this critical task."
Police believe H was appointed to that role.
"On the basis of current evidence, there is no indication that any planning or preparation was being done for attacks inside Germany," the prosecutors added.
Subject: German news