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CRIME

Islamists charged in anti-US terror plot

German federal prosecutors charged on Tuesday three men accused of planning attacks on US citizens and interests, including US military installations.

Islamists charged in anti-US terror plot
The suspects purchased several containers of hydrogen peroxide. Photo: DPA

The three men – two German converts to Islam and a Turk – were arrested last September. They had attended training camps in Pakistan and were stockpiling chemicals to make car bombs, prosecutors had said at the time. Authorities reportedly learned of the second plot thanks to US surveillance of internet communications between Pakistan and Germany.

The alleged plotters, all in their 20s, were believed to belong to the Islamic Jihad Union, a group with links to Al-Qaida.

A spokesman for the prosecutors office declined to give details on what the three had been charged with.

The men had over 700 kilos (1,500 pounds) of hydrogen peroxide, the same chemical used in the 2005 attacks on London’s transport system which killed 56 people, prosecutors had said, with the explosive power of 550 kilos of TNT.

Just before police arrested the three, drums containing the chemicals had been moved recently to a holiday home in the Sauerland area in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia which had been rented under a false name.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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