Terror suspect nabbed in Germany: Prosecutor
Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008
BERLIN – German police on Wednesday arrested the younger brother of one of three men accused of planning attacks last year on U.S. citizens and interests using chemical-filled drums, prosecutors said.
The 21-year-old Turk, named only as Burhan Y., was arrested at Langen south of Frankfurt and is a suspected helper for the banned Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a group with roots in Uzbekistan with ties to al-Qaida, prosecutors said.
His brother Adem Yilmaz was one of three men arrested in September 2007 after allegedly being found with over 700 kilos (1,500 pounds) of hydrogen peroxide, the substance used in the deadly 2005 attacks on London’s transport system.
Burhan Y. is suspected of handing over equipment including a digital camera and binoculars to an IJU courier in Turkey in July 2007 and to have provided 1,100 euros ($1,400) in cash to jihadists in Pakistan.
The smashing of the so-called Sauerland Group in September 2007 has led to a string of other recent arrests including two Somali-born suspects taken off a plane on September 26 at Cologne-Bonn airport, who have since been released.
On September 18 police arrested two men – a 27-year-old German citizen of Afghan origin and a 27-year-old Turkish national – who prosecutors believe were recruited by Yilmaz.
Germany, which opposed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and has more than 3,000 troops in Afghanistan under NATO command, has beefed up security and surveillance in response to the threat of attacks by Islamic extremists.
The closest Germany came to an attack was in July 2006 when suitcases containing homemade bombs were placed on two regional trains passing through Cologne’s busy main train station. They failed to detonate.
The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States were planned by an al-Qaida cell in the northern German city of Hamburg led by Mohammed Atta, one of the hijackers of the planes involved in the attacks.