BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s federal prosecutor is preparing to bring charges against three men suspected of plotting massive bombing attacks that were thwarted by authorities in 2007.
Frank Wallenta, a spokesman for federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe, said Saturday that charges would be pressed Â«in the coming days,Â» confirming reports in Der Spiegel and Focus weeklies.
The suspects, Fritz Martin Gelowicz – described as the leader of an Islamic Jihad Union terror cell in Germany – Daniel Martin Schneider and Adem Yilmaz, have been jailed since police arrested them Sept. 4, 2007 on suspicion of plotting to bomb targets that included places frequented by U.S. citizens.
Wallenta declined to comment on further details in the reports, which said the three will be charged with membership in both a foreign and a domestic terror organization.
Gelowicz and Schneider are German citizens. Yilmaz is a Turkish citizen who lived in Germany. Authorities say they had all undergone training at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, and had formed a German cell of the al-Qaida-influenced group.
At the time of their arrest, the suspects had military-style detonators and enough material to make bombs more powerful than those that killed 191 people in Madrid in 2004 and 52 commuters in London in 2005, prosecutors said then.
They came to the attention of law enforcement officials when one or more of them carried out surveillance of U.S. military facilities in Hanau, near Frankfurt, in late 2006.
Over the next six months, authorities observed them gathering a dozen containers of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which officials say can easily be combined with other material to make explosives.
Police decided to move in when the suspects began moving some of the containers and acquiring other equipment used to make bombs.
The Islamic Jihad Union is a Sunni Muslim group based in Central Asia that was an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an extremist group with origins in that country.