• Germany's news in English

Sauerland cell members confess to planning attacks

AFP · 18 Jun 2009, 15:57

Published: 18 Jun 2009 15:57 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In what has been billed as the biggest terror trial in Germany since the urban guerrillas of the Red Army Faction faced court in the 1970s, four suspects have been in the dock since April of conspiring to kill Americans.

Last week, they suddenly announced in court that they would plead guilty due to the overwhelming evidence against them and their "boredom" with what was sure to be a lengthy trial.

"My client has been interrogated by the BKA since Tuesday," Dirk Uden, an attorney for Fritz Gelowicz, 29, seen as the mastermind behind the foiled plot, told AFP. The BKA is Germany's federal police force.

"I presume that my client will make a complete confession," Uden said, adding that he had been present during interrogations Tuesday and Wednesday and that another member of the defence team was with Gelowicz Thursday.

Uden said he understood the other three defendants would complete their confessions by Wednesday, the date of the next hearing before the court in the western city of Düsseldorf.

The BKA and the court declined to comment Thursday on the confessions.

But a court spokesman said that he expected the four to address the judges Wednesday.

Two of the suspects, Gelowicz and Daniel Schneider, 23, are German converts to Islam, a third is a German citizen of Turkish origin, Attila Selek, 24, and the fourth a Turkish national, Adem Yilmaz, 30.

They face 15 years in prison if convicted on charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation and conspiring to mount at least three devastating bombings in German cities targeted at US citizens.

Story continues below…

Prosecutors say the four were acting on behalf of the Islamic Jihad Union, a militant Islamic extremist group with roots in Uzbekistan and ties to Al-Qaeda.

The so-called Sauerland cell was named for a region near Frankfurt where authorities captured the suspects in September 2007 along with 26 detonators and 12 drums of hydrogen peroxide, the substance used in the deadly attacks on London's transport system two years before.

Authorities say they dreamed of mounting attacks as deadly as those of September 11, 2001 which killed more than 3,000 people.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd