German bomb plotter on the run in UK

Sunday Times:

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 yesterday.

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

The plot was foiled on September 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.


German officials said that the attacks were timed to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The suspects had already assembled the ingredients for homemade bombs: they were caught with 750kg 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.


One of the problems for the Germans is they were relying on the lawfare model for fighting the terrorist, meaning that many of the suspects would have been released if arrested anyway. This puts a further strain on police and security forces who must keep them under observation if they can find them. It is too bad they did not round them up and ship them to Gitmo as unlawful combatants.


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