22 March 2004
BERLIN – A 33-year-old Tunisian man will go on trial in Berlin on 4 May on charges of aiming to carry out bomb attacks in the German capital, the Berlin regional court said Monday.
The suspect identified as “Ihsan G.” is also charged with seeking to build up a terrorist grouping.
The man was arrested in March 2003 in Berlin, having illegally entered Germany two months earlier after having undergone training at a camp in Afghanistan run by the terror network al-Qaeda. Federal prosecutors said Ihsan G. was planning, along with four others, to carry out bomb attacks in Berlin.
The court date announcement comes amid rising official concern about al-Qaeda members and sympathisers operating in Germany and the possibility, as in Spain, of Islamic terrorists staging deadly attacks.
The title-page story of the latest issue of the weekly Der Spiegel on Monday, titled “Al-Qaeda Base Germany” said that German authorities have their eyes on some 270 “Arab mujahedin” suspects inside the country.
Last week German authorities extradited an Algerian man to Italy to stand trial on terrorism-related charges.
Authorities said Abder-Razak M., 30, was taken under heavy guard from a prison in Hamburg and handed over to Italian police.
The suspect, who is married to a German, lost a legal battle against the extradition.
He was arrested in Hamburg last November at the request of Italian officials after raids on a cell of Islamic radicals in Milan.
The group is suspected of recruiting people to act as suicide bombers against US and other forces in Iraq.
He had been arrested twice previously on suspicion of terrorist activities, but was never indicted.
Subject: German news