Germans hold 4th man in anti-U.S. terror plot
STUTTGART, Germany — A fourth man is now in custody in connection with last year’s foiled plot to plant bombs at various U.S. targets around Germany, according to German law enforcement.
Attila Selek, who was arrested in Turkey on a warrant a year ago, was extradited to Germany last month.
Selek faces charges of having membership in a terrorist organization and preparing to carry out bomb attacks. The 23-year-old also is accused of leading the effort to procure the parts to make the bombs.
Three other men, all alleged members of the Islamic Jihad Union, were taken into custody during the course of a September 2007 raid by German commandoes, who swept up the suspects in a small town north of Frankfurt.
In September 2008, Fritz Martin Gelowicz, Daniel Martin Schneider and Adem Yilmaz were formally charged with membership in the Islamic Jihad Union, according to the federal prosecutors office.
The case is now in the hands of a Düsseldorf court.
At the time of the arrests, German authorities said that the men were poised to carry out their plot against both U.S. and German targets.
The suspects had been under close surveillance for six months as German law enforcement officials monitored their movements.
German authorities said investigators were prompted to act because the suspects had obtained some 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide, which could be used to make explosives.
Scores of German police participated in the investigation, which involved searches of 41 properties across the country.
Bars, discos and restaurants frequented by Americans were among the places that could have been targeted, German law enforcement officials said.
Ramstein Air Base and the Frankfurt airport reportedly were also among the potential targets in the plot.
In the months leading up to the arrests, U.S. military and German authorities issued numerous warnings about an increased terror threat posed to U.S. installations throughout Germany.
The suspects first came to the attention of authorities because the men had been observing a U.S. military facility in late 2006, officials said.
All three had allegedly undergone training at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, and had formed a German cell of the group.