Judge demands life for German bomb suspects
12 January 2007, Beirut (dpa) - A Lebanese judge Thursday recommended life sentences with hard labour for six Lebanese accused of involvement in a plot to blow up trains in Germany last July. Lebanese judicial sources said the charge sheet accused the six of "attempting to massacre people in trains in Germany and to set ablaze the trains with explosive materials...which will lead to the killing of a number of civilians.. to avenge the publishing by some German newspapers of pictures defaming the Prophet Mo
12 January 2007
Beirut (dpa) - A Lebanese judge Thursday recommended life sentences with hard labour for six Lebanese accused of involvement in a plot to blow up trains in Germany last July.
Lebanese judicial sources said the charge sheet accused the six of "attempting to massacre people in trains in Germany and to set ablaze the trains with explosive materials...which will lead to the killing of a number of civilians.. to avenge the publishing by some German newspapers of pictures defaming the Prophet Mohammed."
The sources said Judge Abdel Rahim Hammoud demanded life sentences with hard labour to eventually be passed by a higher court for the six - Youssef Mohammed al Hajj Dib, who was arrested in Germany on August 16, Jihad Hamad, Khaled Al Hajj Dib, Ayman Hawa, Khalil Ahmed Al Boubou and Saddam Hajj Dib.
The judge's recommendations against Youssef al Hajj Dib, being held in Germany, and his brother Saddam - who is reportedly held in Syria - were issued in absentia.
Jihad Hamad and the three remaining Lebanese were arrested by the Lebanese authorities in northern Lebanon in connection with the train bombing, and questioned in the presence of a German prosecutor.
The judge accused Hamad of planting a bomb on a train from Aachen to Hamm, and Youssef al Hajj Dib of putting the other bomb in a train heading from Moenchengladbach to Koblenz.
At the time, Lebanon's general prosecutor Saeed Mirza opposed transferring the four suspects to Germany. State law says that only Lebanese judges can undertake interrogations on Lebanese territory.
"They are Lebanese citizens, their trial needs to take place here and they must serve here any sentence they may be given," a judicial source told dpa.
German police said publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Western and some Arab Media had been the "trigger" for the alleged terrorists to organize the bombings on July 31.
The plan failed when bombs hidden on two regional trains did not exploded owing to detonator faults.
Youssef al-Hajj Deeb and Jihad Hamad, the two main suspects, were said by Lebanese security sources to have been influenced by the late al-Qaeda chief in Iraq Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi.
According to the charge sheet Jihad Hamad confessed to carrying out the train bombing, saying he met Youssef al Hajj Dib in April 2006 in Germany where the latter encouraged him to plot the train bombing with him.
Hamad had said that he and Youssef got information from the Internet on how to transform a gas container into an explosive device.
Hamad stressed that Youssef was the man who worked on setting the explosives because he was studying mechanical engineering - but failed to say what went wrong with the detonators.
Hamad added that he returned to Lebanon via Istanbul shortly after he planted the bomb.
A Lebanese security source told dpa that Saddam al Hajj Dib was known for his fundamentalist views, and had been working on "going to Iraq to carry out a suicide attack when he was caught in Syria". He is reportedly held in a Syrian jail.
According to the source, the main link between the six suspects was that all are Sunni fundamentalists from northern Lebanon, a hotbed of Sunni fundamentalist groups who support the views of al- Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Subject: German news