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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Update on Foiled Terror Attack in Germany

The update then a repost of the original story for those that hadn't heard of it.

One of the suspects from the foiled terror attack in Germany is on the run in the UK.

A KEY suspect in the alleged plot to mount an attack in Germany on the scale of 9/11 is on the run in Britain, German security officials disclosed yesterday.

Scotland Yard counterterrorism detectives are hunting the man, who escaped from Germany after a plot to explode bombs at Frankfurt airport and a US airbase. The collective power of the bombs would have exceeded those in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005.

The plot was foiled on September 4 when three men were arrested at a rented holiday apartment near the central German town of Kassel. Police recovered chemicals and bomb-making equipment which investigators believe would have led to the biggest loss of life since the 9/11 attacks in America six years ago.

About 10 other members of the gang were said by German prosecutors to have escaped and one is now in Britain. The arrested three - two of whom were German nationals who had converted to Islam - were alleged by prosecutors to be members of an Al-Qaeda splinter group called the Islamic Jihad Union.

Original post on September 5, 2007:

(Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters--German special forces police officers escorting a suspect from the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe today. )

First the story, then the trend, then some analysis.

The Story:

Three men in German, Islamic militants, have been arrested as suspects in a large scaled plot to attack an air base at Ramstein and the Frankfurt international airport, all frequented by Americans.

According to the New York Times:

They were planning massive attacks,” the German federal prosecutor, Monika Harms, said at a news conference, outlining a vast six-month investigation. She said that the suspects had amassed huge amounts of hydrogen peroxide, the main chemical used to manufacture the explosives used in the suicide bombings in London in July 2005.

Ms. Harms said the two German suspects were converts to Islam who had trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan. They had amassed 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide to make explosives, which they had hidden and were preparing to move when they were arrested on Tuesday afternoon. Officials said they also had military grade detonators.

“This would have enabled them to make bombs with more explosive power than the ones used in the London and Madrid bombings,” Jörg Ziercke, head of the German Federal Crime Office, said. Mr. Ziercke said the suspects belonged to a radical Islamic group with “close links” to Al Qaeda.

German officials were visibly relieved by the arrests, which they said were a six-month investigation involving 300 people from the police and prosecutor’s office. On Wednesday, police raided 41 houses and apartments across Germany, seizing computers and other evidence.

The three men were arrested in Medebach-Oberschledorn in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday afternoon. Around 20 police were involved in the arrests, and there are reports that shots were fired. According to the Associated Press, the three men were staying in a vacation apartment. Local newspaper Hessische-Niedersächsische Allgemeine reported that police from Germany's elite GSG-9 unit had stormed the flat. Raids also later took place in other federal states, according to media reports.

According to information obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, the three men were Daniel S. from the state of Saarland and Fritz G. from Neu-Ulm in Bavaria, both of whom are German converts to Islam, as well as Adem Y., who is believed to be from Turkey. The three, who had apparently founded a terrorist cell, have been under intensive investigation for several months. All three men were considered radical Islamists and had contact with Islamist groups in Germany and Pakistan.

The Trend:

Yesterday we posted about the Danish Police arresting eight men with al-Qaeda links in connection with another terror plot.

Eleven raids carried out in the greater Copenhagen area, leading to eight arrests is being credited with preventing a terrorist bombing linked to al-Qaeda.

The Director General of the PET (Police Intelligence Service), the Danish Police, these men arrested are quoted as being "militant Islamists with direct connections to international groups such as al-Qaida." The suspects are said to be between 19-29 yrs of age.

Buildings in the city's southern suburb of Ishoej and its Noerrebro district - both with large immigrant populations - were among those cordoned off by police.

The suspects had been under surveillance for some time and Danish investigators had liaised with "several foreign co-operation partners" before making the arrests, police said.

Not long ago, you might remember police arrested two men in Goosecreek, SC., for being in possession of explosive devices. Goose Creek, S.C., according to U.S. Today is the home of the Naval Weapons Station which houses a military brig where enemy combatants have been held.

Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin, we see that those two men have been indicted on charges of carrying explosives across state lines and one was indicted on terror charges.

Just yesterday, I told you about federal grand jury investigating the Goose Creek case asking for DNA and hair samples from one of the suspects. Now, the mystery unclouds further. Via AP breaking news: (Hat tip-reader William A.)

Two University of South Florida men indicted on charges of carrying explosives across state lines; one indicted on terror charges.

June 29th, reports from London, yet another incident involving two cars with explosive materials.

The London bomb plot allegedly planned by a cell of doctors failed early last Friday morning because a medical syringe used as part of the firing mechanism caused a malfunction, ABC News has learned.

According to nonclassified documents reviewed by ABC News, and confirmed by multiple sources, both mobile telephones initiated firing mechanisms rigged inside a Mercedes E 300 parked several yards from the front door of Tiger Tiger nightclub failed despite multiple calls to the cell phones designed to remotely trigger the devices.

Had the fuel-air bombs successfully ignited into a superhot fireball filled with roofing nails, casualties were almost a certainty among the 500 or so patrons who partied late at the 1,700-person occupancy nightclub that perhaps best symbolizes London's vital nightlife scene.

We updated that story here and here also.

June 2007, a plot regarding the JFK Airport:

May,in Wapo, a terror plot foiled to kill our soldiers at Ft. Dix:

CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 8 -- A group of would-be terrorists, allegedly undone after attempting to have jihad training videos copied onto a DVD, has been charged with conspiring to attack Fort Dix and kill soldiers there with assault rifles and grenades, authorities said Tuesday.

Five men -- all foreign-born and described as "radical Islamists" by federal authorities -- allegedly trained at a shooting range in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains to kill "as many soldiers as possible" at the historic Army base 25 miles east of Philadelphia. A sixth man was charged with helping them obtain illegal weapons.

Lets go back to August of 2006 when 21 people in connection with a terrorist plot to blow up aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States.

The plot was "intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale," Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said. The UK's threat warning level has been raised to "critical" -- meaning "an attack is expected imminently."

The trend? All failed terror plots by Islamic extremists.


9/11 was a well thought out attack that took years to plan and coordinate but the foiled plots of late show us that their organizational skills aren't what they used to be.

In December of 2006 Newsweek reported that bin Laden’s representatives gave bad news to the Taliban: Qaeda fighters are shifting to a new front: IRAQ.

Dec. 15 issue - During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, three senior Qaeda representatives allegedly held a secret meeting in Afghanistan with two top Taliban commanders.

The confab took place in mid-November in the remote, Taliban-controlled mountains of Khowst province near the Pakistan border, a region where Al Qaeda has found it easy to operate—frequently even using satellite phones despite U.S. surveillance.

At that meeting, according to Taliban sources, Osama bin Laden’s men officially broke some bad news to emissaries from Mullah Mohammed Omar, the elusive leader of Afghanistan’s ousted fundamentalist regime. Their message: Al Qaeda would be diverting a large number of fighters from the anti-U.S. insurgency in Afghanistan to Iraq. Al Qaeda also planned to reduce by half its $3 million monthly contribution to Afghan jihadi outfits.

All this was on the orders of bin Laden himself, the sources said. Why? Because the terror chieftain and his top lieutenants see a great opportunity for killing Americans and their allies in Iraq and neighboring countries such as Turkey, according to Taliban sources who complain that their own movement will suffer.

We have seen, countless times, in the news that al-Qaeda had decided to make Iraq their "central battlefield" and have sent some of the best trained and organized fighters to Iraq.

As the news has been reporting, quite frequently these days, we are killing and capturing al-Qaeda in Iraq, they are not able to train their fighters as they once were able because of our military in Afghanistan and our attacks upon their training camps and they have resorted to internet guides to train wannabe terrorist online, bomb making guides online, guides on how to kidnap Americans, guides to create your own homegrown al-Qaeda cells and how to attack military installations.

They have been forced to start training people online, which could be one explanation of why these people are so inept nowadays, why their plots are being foiled and why many of their groups are being captured in Denmark, Germany, London and in the U.S..

Does this mean we cannot be attacked successfully? No, unfortunately it would only take one plot to slip through the cracks to cause us massive damage, which is why our intelligence agencies need whatever tools necessary to prevent a plot from seeing success, here at home or abroad.

People can piss and moan all they want about FISA and NSA, but the fact is, they are trying to kill us, as all these foiled plots prove without a doubt and it is up to our government, whoever is president, to protect us and hinder al-Qaeda's, or anybody that shares al-Qaeda's ideology, abilities to attack us.

To ignore the trend of unsuccessful plots or to wave them away because they were unsuccessful, without bothering to acknowledge the work and intelligence that went into making them unsuccessful, is to deny the reality of the world we live in today.

So, when you watch the news and see a plot that has been foiled, it is easy to look at it as "just one plot", but to ignore the big picture of the constant attempts that are being foiled, is idiocy, you have to understand that they will not stop trying and we must, as a country, as a nation and as an international community worldwide, protect ourselves and keep on the offensive.

Reacting after an attack in a defensive action and one that comes too late, after hundreds or thousands of people have died and that is unacceptable.

Question to leave here with: Would you rather we continue to foil these plots before an attack, or would you rather let countless amounts of people die, then react?

I know what my answer is.

[Update]Michael van der Galiën has his first piece up at Pajamas Media and in it is this little tidbit:

When the German police understood – through wiretapping and email surveillance – that the three had no intention to call off the plans and had started building chemical bombs, they acted. Police units forced their way into the vacation home where the three were located and arrested them. One was able to flee, but not for long: A police officer used his gun to detain him. When the police looked at the material found at the sight, they saw that Fritz, Daniel and Adem had collected 730 kilograms of explosive materials. The same type of chemical bombs were used in the London bombings, but they were a lot smaller: only some 3 to 5 kilograms.

Something to think about the next time someone tries to tell you that the ability to wiretap and email surveillance does nothing to protect us.