– GERMAN SENTENCED 4 TERRORISTS TO JAIL
Four men known as the “Sauerland Cell” who confessed to planning bomb attacks on US targets in Germany have been convicted, on Thursday 03/04/2010, by a court in Dusseldorf of conspiracy to murder and of belonging to a foreign terrorist group.
Daniel Martin Schneider, who shot at a police officer during an escape attempt, and Fritz Martin Gelowicz, the group’s ringleader, both convert to Islam, were sentenced to 12 years in jail. Adem Yilmaz, a Turkish citizen, was sentenced to 11 years and Attila Selek, a German citizen of Turkish origin, to five years.
The men were sentenced for the plot which they were planning when they were arrested in September 2007. They were to use three car bombs, each with 250kg of explosives, in the attacks.
The bomb explosions were to coincide with a vote in parliament on whether Germany should extend its military presence in Afghanistan in an attempt to influence public opinion against the country’s mission there.
Police had been watching their rented holiday cottage for several months before swooping in to make the arrests. Judge Ottmar Breidling, speaking at the conclusion of the 10-month trial, said the men aimed to kill at least 150 USA soldiers stationed in Germany.
The four men, who were members of the radical Islamic Jihad Union -IJU, had identified discos and airports, as well as the USA Ramstein air base, as possible targets (see – Ramstein Plot).
The CIA helped to foil the plot after months of close co-operation with German authorities, German media reported. About 600 German investigators had started monitoring the group in early 2007, before arresting them on 09/04/2007.
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