This article focuses on the story of Fritz Gelowicz, one of the three arrested earlier this week for plotting a massive and imminent attack on commercial and American military interests in Germany. But it also demonstrates that Gelowicz did not work in a vacuum; rather, there was significant support for “radical Islam” right in the German town of Ulm. And that seemingly unlikely place only underscores the fact that jihadists can plot and potentially wreak havoc wherever they are allowed to operate unchallenged, both by the larger community, and by fellow Muslims who are all too often assumed to be uniformly “moderate.”
“Germans concerned about Muslim converts,” by Alexander G. Higgins for the Associated Press:
BERLIN – Fritz and Daniel “” two of the three militant Islamic suspects arrested
in a purported plot to bomb American targets are as German as their names.
The pair allegedly are among the small number of Western converts who have been used by terrorism masters because their ability to blend in is matched by their willingness
to become violent, Muslim and non-Muslim experts say.
Not even a thought given to the content of traditional Islamic texts there.
The two Germans and a Turk were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of planning
attacks on U.S. and other facilities. Police say they had stockpiled enough material to build bombs more powerful than those that killed 191 commuters in Madrid and 52 in London.
The extremism behind the alleged plot was in many ways inculcated not in far-
off lands but on the banks of the Danube River in Germany, security officials say.
Fritz Martin Gelowicz, described as the leader of the Islamic Jihad Union terror cell, converted to Islam 10 years ago at age 18 in his hometown of Ulm, security officials told The Associated Press.
Ulm, in Baden Wuerttemberg in southwestern Germany, is a center for radical
Islamic activity along with Neu-Ulm, just across the Danube in Bavaria. Authorities say the
local Islamic scene is marked by particular zeal.
Security officials said Gelowicz first became an adherent of what they described as an Islamic hate preacher at the Multicultural House in Neu-Ulm, which he attended regularly with a German friend of Turkish descent, identified only as Tolga D. Tolga D. was arrested in Frankfurt last month after being deported from Pakistan and is accused of recruiting a German citizen for terrorism.
Where is that “hate preacher” now?
After the Multicultural House was closed, Gelowicz began going to the Islamic
Information Center in Ulm “” which was searched by police this week. Officials at the center
could not be reached for comment.
“I believe this center in Ulm has played a calamitous role,” said Udo Steinbach, a specialist on Islam at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg.