Minister says terrorist threat has not diminished

17th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 September 2007, Berlin (AFP) - The threat of terrorist attacks has not diminished in Germany since three men were arrested on suspicion of plotting major bomb attacks, the interior minister said in a report to be published Sunday.

17 September 2007

Berlin (AFP) - The threat of terrorist attacks has not diminished in Germany since three men were arrested on suspicion of plotting major bomb attacks, the interior minister said in a report to be published Sunday.

"I am not calmer since the arrests," Wolfgang Schauble told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

"The terrorist danger has not diminished... we are specifically in the sights of Islamic terrorists," he added.

The three arrested on September 5, who included two German converts to Islam, were suspected of planning "massive" attacks on facilities used by Americans, among them Frankfurt airport and the US military airbase at Ramstein.

Federal prosecutor Monika Harms said they were members of the Islamic Jihad Union, a little-known group from Uzbekistan with links to Al-Qaeda.

The minister, who wants to drastically reinforce anti-terrorist measures, said "this group wants to carry out more attacks."

One of the suspects worked at Frankfurt airport, one of the alleged targets, according to the weekly Der Spiegel.

The report to be published Monday said Adem Y., a Turk, had been employed from 1997 to 2002 by German railways, working in particular in the department handling freight at Frankfurt airport station.

The Sunni Muslim group said the aim of the planned attacks had been to put pressure on Germany to withdraw its soldiers stationed at the Termez base in southern Uzbekistan, according to the German interior ministry.

Germany uses the Termez base for its military operations in Afghanistan, where it has about 3,000 troops serving in the NATO-led force.

The Islamic Jihad Union has been blamed for several suicide bombings which rocked Tashkent in 2004, including attacks on the US and Israeli embassies.

Der Spiegel said 10 people were being pursued by German investigators, including one in Turkey named as Attila S., and Nasmedin Zhalolov, an alleged high-ranking official in the Islamic Jihad Union said to be in Pakistan.

AFP

Subject: German news

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