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Sauerland cell Islamists jailed for anti-US plot

AFP · 4 Mar 2010, 11:33

Published: 04 Mar 2010 10:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Mar 2010 11:33 GMT+01:00

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Sentencing the extremists to between five and 12 years, Judge Ottmar Breidling said that they planned to stage a "monstrous bloodbath."

The four included two German converts to Islam, Fritz Gelowicz and Daniel Schneider, who each received 12 year jail terms. Adem Yilmaz, a Turkish citizen got 11 years while Atilla Selek, a German of Turkish origin was given five years.

The self-confessed extremists were convicted in a high-security courtroom in the western city of Düsseldorf after a more than 10-month trial. Judge Breidling said they had aspired to mounting a "second September 11, 2001."

"If the accused had managed to do what they planned, it would have led to a monstrous bloodbath, primarily among US army personnel and also civilians," he said.

The judge added that there were now "many impressionable young men and men who have already been led astray, ready to kill for notions of Jihad.

"Violent Islamism has penetrated our society and turned young men against it," he said.

The four members of the Sauerland cell, named after the region where three were captured in September 2007, admitted to belonging to a "terrorist organisation," plotting murder and conspiring for an explosives attack.

Authorities said they captured the men just in time, as they were planning attacks before October 12, 2007, when parliament was to vote to extend German participation in the NATO force in Afghanistan.

Prosecutors had sought jail terms of between five and a half years and 13 years - less than the maximum 15 years - due to the defendants' cooperation. Defence attorneys called for much lighter judgements.

After the biggest criminal surveillance operation in postwar history, police using US and German intelligence caught three of the suspects red-handed, mixing chemicals to make some 410 kilogrammes (900 pounds) of explosives. This was 100 times the amount used in the 2005 London bombings that killed more than 50 people, prosecutors said.

The fourth suspect was arrested soon after in Turkey.

The cases of Gelowicz, 30, and Schneider, 24, in particular shocked the country, raising questions how seemingly "normal" Germans could become radicalised by Islamic militant preaching and attend terror training camps.

The group said it was acting on behalf of the Islamic Jihad Union, an Islamic militant group with ties to al-Qaida that is believed to have set up training camps in the Afghan-Pakistani border region.

Federal prosecutors said that they gleaned crucial insights into extremist recruitment and training with the defendants' confessions.

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Gelowicz, Schneider and Selek, 25, had each renounced extremism and described their actions as a "mistake."

In addition to the other charges, Schneider also admitted to attempted murder for grabbing the handgun from a police officer while being captured and firing off a shot. No one was wounded.

Germany, which opposed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq but has more than 4,000 troops in Afghanistan under NATO command, has beefed up security and surveillance in response to the threat of Islamic militant attacks.

The closest it has come was in July 2006 when suitcases containing homemade bombs, placed on two regional trains at Cologne's main station, failed to detonate, averting an almost certain bloodbath. The two would-be bombers have since been sentenced to long prison terms in Germany and Lebanon.

The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States were planned in part in the German port city of Hamburg by an al-Qaida cell led by Mohammed Atta, the hijacker of the first plane to strike New York's World Trade Center.

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Your comments about this article

12:47 March 4, 2010 by tollermann
Long prison sentences? Please, for the kind of mayhem they were planning they don't deserve to live on the same planet!
17:43 March 4, 2010 by xyz_79
If I am not wrong the terrorists responsible for 9/11 trained in Germany or something like that, and now this, I guess there maybe forces ( sentiments ) in Germany which see US & U.K as their enemy after what happened in WW2;instead of seeing them as the biggest allies Germany has today.

But Furher( Hitler ) lost it and lead the country to ashes there is no denial about that…Furher ( Hitler ) was a vain visionary who lost all sense of purpose and goal..

For there is HONOR even in the corridors of POWER… I strongly believe so.
18:08 March 4, 2010 by Thames
The judge added that there were now "many impressionable young men and men who have already been led astray, ready to kill for notions of Jihad.

"Violent Islamism has penetrated our society and turned young men against it," he said

The judge acts like the German government's tolerance of militant Islam had nothing to do with this. The German government and it's bending over backwards for those who want to destroy the west and for allowing them save haven in Germany is disgracefull. Its no accident they 9/11 plotters planned it in Germany because they knwe the German governmet would be afraid to go after them. If the Us had not been involved in this case they may have gotten away with it.
00:15 March 5, 2010 by snorge
Hang the idiots.... Typical, once they get caught they denounce their affiliation. Saw that in Iraq many times.

Cry to someone who cares, but it should be in the after life....
19:53 March 5, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Germans hate themselves. So, hate speech about Germans and Westerners, and the people they hate even more (Ami's), is a bit of sport for them. When they detest themselves, they will always have Islam to confirm their self hatred.

So sensitive about its History in WWII on one hand. And creating the atmosphere to complete the job that neither Stalin nor Hitler could finish, on the other.

But now they can look Tolerant in the process!!! Yay!
05:09 March 10, 2010 by PierceArrow
Three comments: First, the actions of Gelowicz, Schneider and Selek renouncing extremism after they got caught appear to be a classic case of "Taqiyya," the Islamic doctrine that allows Muslims to lie to us infidels to advance the cause of Allah. Second, the German government has allowed thousands of Muslims to immigrate to Germany and get welfare, public housing, and other government benefits while they gather in their mosques and plot their acts of Jihad. Third, the scumbag who was the Islamic Grand Mufti of Jerusalem from 1920 to the early 1940s was a close ally of Adolf Hitler; the Grand Mufti encouraged Hitler and his henchmen to kill more Jews.

Germany needs to bring back the death penalty and use it against every terrorist they catch.
12:59 March 20, 2010 by Ich
The answer to this is simple:

!!!Support Geert Wilders and the Dutch Party for Freedom!!!
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