2 March 2004
DUESSELDORF – An Algerian alleged to have been the weapons supplier to a Jordan-based terrorist group told German police he approved of the Holocaust, according to testimony during maximum- security proceedings before a court in Germany Tuesday.
Three men are accused at the trial in Dusseldorf of forming a German cell of al-Tawhid, a group seen as comparable to al-Qaeda, and allied with it. The Algerian, who is charged with assisting them, has contended that his sole motivation was to earn money.
But a federal police interrogator said the man had declared his sympathy for the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, and had said it was good that the Nazi had murdered Jews.
Djamel M., 31, has testified he had provided the group with 15 stolen, blank, French identity cards in January 2001 and forged identities into them. He also accepted orders for hand grenades, butg claimed he was unaware that his customers planned terrorist attacks.
The policeman said the defendant already had convictions for theft, receiving stolen goods and breaching immigration laws.
On Monday, police had told the court how one of the main Palestinian defendants raged against the United States and Israel during interrogation.
The alleged cell comprised Mohammed Abu-D. and Ismail Abdallah Shaitan S., both Jordanian nationals, and Ashraf Mohammed al-D., who is stateless. Their full surnames have been withheld under German journalistic ethics guidelines.
Prosecutors say the cell plotted variously to bomb a Dusseldorf nightclub, a bar in that city frequented by Jews or a Jewish community centre in Berlin. None of the attacks was ever carried out, as the group was arrested in 2002 before its hand grenades arrived.
The key witness, another Palestinian, was sentenced in November to four years in jail for supporting the group.
The three main defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, while the Algerian provider of fake IDs faces five.
Subject: German news