Investigators identified the 23-year-old as Attila S., and said he had been arrested one year ago in the Turkish city of Konya under suspicion of providing detonators to the Sauerland group for their planned terrorist attack on Germany.
Three other suspects in the “Sauerland group,” Fritz Gelowicz, Daniel Schneider and Adem Yilmaz were arrested in September 2007, having allegedly planned car bomb attacks to coincide with Germany’s extension of its NATO Afghanistan operations that October. Authorities swooped in on the group on September 4, 2007 with hundreds of police officers after a lengthy surveillance operation.
Another alleged co-conspirator – and the younger brother of Adem Yilmaz – was arrested last month. All four are believed to have ties to the banned Islamic Jihad Union.
The three main players are believed to have attended training camp in Pakistan, where a senior Islamist gave them a clear aim back in autumn 2006 – they should prepare and carry out attacks in Germany. The arrest of the three men showed for the first time that Germans could also be recruited into Islamist terrorist circles.
Police found 26 Syrian detonators when they raided the group, although experts say most of them would not have worked due to water damage. They were also in possession of more than 700 kilos (1,500 pounds) of hydrogen peroxide, the substance used in the deadly 2005 attacks on London’s transport system.