3 planned 'massive airport bombs'

Chopstick

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http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/09/05/germany.terrorarrests/index.html

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- Three terror suspects held in Germany planned to carry out "imminent" and "massive" bombs attacks on a U.S. air base and Frankfurt's international airport, according to prosecutors.

The suspects, two Germans and a Turk, received terrorist training in Pakistan and had close ties to al Qaeda, according to Jorg Ziercke, president of Germany's Federal Criminal Investigation Office.

The group had amassed 680 kg (1,500 pounds) of hydrogen peroxide to use for making bombs, German federal prosecutor Monika Harms told reporters on Wednesday.

According to Ziercke, the group was united by a "hatred against American citizens" as it planned attacks against Frankfurt airport, a popular international travel hub, and Ramstein air base, a major transit point for the U.S. military into the Middle East and Central Asia.

Harms said the three suspects also planned to attack bars and restaurants popular with Americans.

She said the planned attacks would have been among the biggest yet on German soil. Possible scenarios would have been car bombs used in simultaneous attacks.

Officials said the hydrogen peroxide could have produced a bomb with the explosive power of 540 kg of TNT.

"This would have enabled them to make bombs with more explosive power than the ones used in the London and Madrid bombings," Ziercke said at a joint news conference with Harms.

Harms said the two Germans detained were aged 22 and 28 while the Turkish national was aged 29.

The three suspects appeared before judges in a closed court in Karlsruhe after being flown in by helicopter, court officials told The Associated Press.

"This is a good day for security in Germany," Harms said.

"There was an imminent threat," German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung told Germany's ARD broadcaster earlier.

The German terror arrests came a day after Danish police arrested eight "militant Islamists," accusing them of storing "unstable explosives."

At U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Capt. Jeff Gradec said German authorities had alerted them of a possible terrorist threat to American installations, but not specifically Ramstein.

Gradec said EUCOM had no plans to raise its force protection levels in light of the plots.

Ramstein Air Base is located in western Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate state and is about 125 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Frankfurt. The base is a major transit point for the U.S. military into the Middle East and Central Asia.

Authorities in both Germany and the United States have warned of the possibility of a terrorist attack, and security measures have been raised, according to an AP report.

However CNN's International Security Correspondent Paula Newton reported that intelligence officials have been calling for more cooperation to combat terror plots in Europe, in particular the faster transfer of information between different countries.

Europe is at high risk, officials say, due not only to the Iraq war, but also the NATO mission in Afghanistan, to which many European countries contribute, she said, adding that the Muslim population in Europe is beginning to feel more alienated than it has done in previous decades. "This brings Europe to the battleground," Newton said.
 

AMRUSMCR

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adding that the Muslim population in Europe is beginning to feel more alienated than it has done in previous decades.
Maybe they should quit trying to blow people up? Silence is assent and if you won't police your own crazies, it will be done for you.

Glad they got the bombers.
 

Typhoon

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It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the national media over the coming days. Folks who want to pretend that there isn't much threat or any GWOT will downplay the plot or say that the dudes were inept or crazy like the Keystone Kops and couldn't have pulled it off...
 

Chopstick

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Germany Terror Plot Suspect On Run in Britain

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298631,00.html

Sunday , September 30, 2007

A key suspect in the alleged plot to mount an attack in Germany on the scale of 9/11 is on the run in Britain, German security officials disclosed Saturday.

Scotland Yard counterterrorism detectives are hunting the man, who escaped from Germany after a plot to explode bombs at Frankfurt airport and a U.S. airbase. The collective power of the bombs would have exceeded those in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005.

The plot was foiled on Sept. 4 when three men were arrested at a rented holiday apartment near the central German town of Kassel. Police recovered chemicals and bomb-making equipment which investigators believe would have led to the biggest loss of life since the 9/11 attacks in America six years ago.

About 10 other members of the gang were said by German prosecutors to have escaped and one is now in Britain. The arrested three — two of whom were German nationals who had converted to Islam — were alleged by prosecutors to be members of an Al Qaeda splinter group called the Islamic Jihad Union.

At the time the British and German authorities denied that there were any links between the cell and Britain. Security sources also played down reports that there had been telephone contact between members of the cell and people in Britain.

However, it emerged Saturday that the Germans have told Britain that at least one of the fugitives has since made his way to this country. A security dragnet has been put in place by Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command to try to arrest the man.

Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s interior minister, revealed last week that the three arrested men had acquired detonators that originated from Syria and had received direct orders to act from operatives in Pakistan.

"We know that there is a clear network, highly conspiratorial," he said after two days of meetings in Washington with US security officials. "The demand came from Pakistan [saying], 'You should go on for action. Do not go on preparing for months and months and months, but now is the time to take action in the first half of September' and they did."

German officials said that the attacks were timed to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The suspects had already assembled the ingredients for homemade bombs: they were caught with 750 kg of hydrogen peroxide, a chemical that is easily transformed into explosives.

Al Qaeda trainers are known to have taught Britons how to use hydrogen peroxide at camps in Pakistan that were attended by other Europeans. The chemical has been deployed at least twice by terrorists in Britain, including the four July 7 suicide bombers who killed 52 people in London in 2005.

The German bombs were designed for an attack on Americans in Germany, possibly at Ramstein airbase and the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt. There were also plans to explode a bomb at Frankfurt airport. Targets were said to include other U.S. bases, a nightclub and a bar used by American servicemen.

The fugitive’s presence in Britain will add to fears that the group may have a network in this country. British and other European intelligence services remain nervous about the possibility of further attacks.

MI5’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which monitors terrorist threats, says that Britain is still facing a “severe” level of threat — meaning that an attack is "highly likely."
 
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