Terrorists 'plotted to blow up German plane'

20th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 November 2006, Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Terrorists planned to blow up a plane leaving a German airport during the past summer, offering money to an airport worker to smuggle a suitcase bomb aboard an airliner, German federal prosecutors said Monday. The plot came to nothing because the German-based group could not strike a deal with their unidentified sponsors on how much to pay. Prosecutors in the southern city of Karlsruhe declined to say who the sponsors were, or which airport was targeted in the p

20 November 2006

Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Terrorists planned to blow up a plane leaving a German airport during the past summer, offering money to an airport worker to smuggle a suitcase bomb aboard an airliner, German federal prosecutors said Monday.

The plot came to nothing because the German-based group could not strike a deal with their unidentified sponsors on how much to pay.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Karlsruhe declined to say who the sponsors were, or which airport was targeted in the plot.

The explosive suitcase or soft bag would have been taken past security checks by a person who had an airport security clearance.

Six men were arrested on Friday in connection with the plot, but five were granted bail a day later, while the sixth remained in custody on unrelated charges. Nine homes were searched in raids Friday in the Hesse and Rhineland Palatinate states of Germany.

Prosecutors refused to name the suspects or their affiliation.

The six were suspected of being members or supporters of the shadowy terrorist organization that initiated the plot.

The person with access to secure areas of the airport had been willing, for payment, to place a booby-trapped bag where it would be put on a plane. It was not clear if the helper was someone employed by the airport, an airline or a subcontractor.

Germany narrowly escaped its first attack by Islamist terrorists on July 31, when suitcase bombs were placed on two provincial trains. Both failed to explode. A Lebanese student is in custody in Germany and another in Lebanon for building and planting those bombs.

In Berlin, an interior ministry spokesman said the inquiry would not prompt any change in the current public-safety assessment, which was that Germany was part of a wider "zone of danger."

"We have to expect groups of people to be repeatedly planning concrete attacks," the spokesman said. He refused to answer questions about which German airport was involved or whether the plotters had aimed to attack during the June-July football World Cup tournament.

DPA

Subject: German news

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