Germany arrest terror suspects on plane

NY Times:

German police boarded a Dutch airliner Friday at Cologne-Bonn airport and seized two men suspected of terrorism who had been under surveillance for several months, the police said.

A special unit of German officers arrested the two men at 6:55 a.m. local time and, in a related operation, found apparent suicide notes at their apartment, a police spokesman told German news organizations. The men were said to be a 23-year-old Somali and a 24-year-old German of Somali descent.

Michaela Heyer, a police spokeswoman, said that, contrary to initial reports, the airplane was not stormed by police. “The arrest was entirely unspectacular,” she said. There was “no indication” that either man was carrying explosives or weapons.

The police boarded the plane shortly before it was to take off and took the two men into custody. They were “suspected of wishing to participate in jihad and possible attacks,” she said. She declined to give further details because the investigation was continuing.

The KLM plane left for Amsterdam about one hour late after a search of all the baggage on board and the removal of the suspects’ baggage, the airline said.

A German newspaper in Berlin, the Tagesspiegel, quoted unidentified security sources as saying the two men had planned to fly via Amsterdam and Uganda to Pakistan. The newspaper identified them as a Somali-born German, Omar D. and a Somali citizen, Abdirazak B.

A week ago, the German authorities announced that they had arrested two men, a German citizen of Afghan descent and a Turk accused of being linked to a bombing plot last year that shocked Germany because of the scale of explosive chemicals seized and the fact that German converts to Islam were involved.

...

The Washington Post described the notes as saying they were willing to sacrifice themselves for "jihad." The ultimate destination of the two was Pakistan which suggest they were going for training and a mission assignment. The problem with this kind of case is the police have no specific plot to charge them with and no overt act other than a vaguely written note and getting on a plane for Pakistan. I suspect that they will eventually have to release them and they will have another shot at self destruction.

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