BERLIN: A Lebanese man who has admitted plotting to bomb two trains in Germany said in an interview that he and his accomplice were driven by the publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad. Jihad Hamad told German public television NDR in his first
interview since turning himself in to police in Beirut in August that he and fellow Lebanese national Youssef Mohammed al-Hajdib wanted to exact revenge for an affront against Islam.
“Youssef told me that two German newspapers had printed the Mohammad caricatures. He told me that we could not do nothing,” NDR quoted him as saying. “We would go to hell if we did not do anything.”
Hajdib, who was registered as a student in Germany, is in custody in Berlin.
The publication of the 12 Mohammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper last year, and their reproduction in other mostly European media this year, sparked Muslim anger worldwide and triggered a wave of violent protests.
Authorities believe Hamad and Hajdib are the two men captured on security cameras July 31 planting suitcases packed with bombs on trains. Technical defects in the bombs prevented an almost certain bloodbath.
Hamad told NDR that he and Hajdib had no other accomplice. “There was no third person,” he said.