Islamic terrorist suspectsheld after police raids
12 January 2005, MUNICH - German police arrested 22 people on Wednesday on suspicion of belonging to an Islamic terrorist network and recruiting for a "holy war."
12 January 2005
MUNICH - German police arrested 22 people on Wednesday on suspicion of belonging to an Islamic terrorist network and recruiting for a "holy war."
Indeed, some of the militants had openly advocated a jihad or holy war against infidels, but there was no evidence they had planned bomb attacks. Some members had links to the radical northern Iraq group Ansar al-Islam.
The Bavarian state crime office LKA in Munich said more than 700 police and special forces fanned out before dawn in the cities of Ulm, Freiburg, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Bonn and Berlin.
The Islamist network, which had no name, had its focus in Ulm, a city straddling the Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria state border.
Eleven persons were remanded into custody around Germany and another 11 were held for questioning, said Baden-Wuerrtemberg police. Planning began a year ago for the raids with 57 homes, shops and mosques being searched.
Police moved swiftly, breaking open the doors of the Omar ibn al- Khattab mosque in Frankfurt for example.
Prosecutor Martin Hofmann told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa the suspects were mainly Algerians and Tunisians.
Some had links to both al-Tawhid and Ansar al-Islam, he said, but added: "These connections, however, do not go so far as to permit investigations on suspicions of forming a terrorist group."
Instead the charges were likely to be of criminal conspiracy. Blank passports and copies of official visa stamps were seized.
"We suspect this group with having carried out a great number of crimes," Hofmann said, including counterfeiting passports to earn money. "This money, we suspect, then went to help finance the group's other goals."
Five of those detained were women. The 22 suspects ranged in age from 17 to 46, and five were described as illegal immigrants to Germany. One suspect was believed to have done a course of training in an al-Qaeda camp in Pakistan.
Copyright DPA with Expatica
Subject: German news