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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.

CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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