What was going to make these men heroes before Allah? A great act of charity? A generous gesture of interfaith respect? A magnanimous display of tolerance? No: it seems most likely that they were planning to, um, explode some bombs. On the other hand, maybe it was all a misunderstanding — but it isn’t as if anyone with any sense would come to any different conclusion on overhearing this conversation. “3 detained in Hamburg over terrorism scare,” from the IHT, :
HAMBURG The police in this northern German city have detained three Chechen men for questioning in connection with a search for possible terror suspects, an investigator said Friday.
The three are from 21 to 25 years old, said Reinhard Chedor, head of Hamburg’s state criminal office. Two went to the police of their own accord; the third was detained after being identified by the police.
Chedor said there appeared to have been no plans for any attack.
He said the authorities believed they were the three men who were involved in a suspicious conversation at a bus stop in the city Wednesday evening that prompted a large-scale police search.
A witness told the police that one of the three, who were said to have been talking in Arabic, said “We will stand tomorrow as heroes before Allah.”
After the reported conversation, the men, one of whom had a backpack, were caught on film by a surveillance camera on a bus traveling out of the center of Hamburg, the police said.
On Thursday, the police urged the three to make contact with them and began a search that involved about 1,000 officers.
Hamburg’s top security official, Udo Nagel, said Thursday night that the alert may have resulted from a misunderstanding. He said there was no reason for the public to be alarmed.