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RAMSTEIN PLOT

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German Security Service foiled, on 09/04/2007, an Islamic terror plot of the Sauerland Cell to attack with massive car bombs the Ramstein military airbase, about 140 km South-West of Frankfurt, and Frankfurt airport, known as “Operation Alberich”. The Ramstein airbase is the largest base used by USA army in Europe. According to the German Authority the plot, in its last stage of preparations, may have been timed to coincide with the anniversary of The 9/11 attacks in the US.

“Operation Alberich” began in 11/ 2006, when the CIA asked German intelligence officials for assistance in identifying a man the US intelligence agency knew lived in Germany and went by the name “Muaz”. Later the German security service BKA came to the conclusion that Muaz is, probably, an Islamic Jihad Union” ( -IJU ) operative from Ulm – Attila Selek.

The arrests were probably executed after Pakistan handed over back to Germany, on 08/15/2007, a German citizen from Turkish descent Tolga Durbin, who was an “Islamic Jihad Union” (-IJU) operative and a roommate of Fritz Martin Gelowicz, the plot ringleader.

The three detainees, two German citizens, who converted to Islam, and a Turkish citizen, who lives in Germany were under surveillance for a long time. They were identified as Fritz Martin Gelowicz, 28, was described as the local ringleader, Daniel Martin Schneider, 21, and the Turkish Adem Yilmaz, 29. They were suspected to be members of a German cell of the “Islamic Jihad Union” group -IJU founded in Uzbekistan in 2004. They were arrested on 09/04/2007. The contact man of the group to “Islamic Jihad Union” -IJU, the Uzbek Gofir Salimov, with lasting ties to the Taliban in Afghanistan, managed to flee Germany, probably to Iran.

According to a website affiliated to “Islamic Jihad Union” -IJU the foiled attack was aimed at pressing Germany to close its air base in Termez, Uzbekistan. The base near the Uzbek-Afghan border provides logistic support for some 3,000 German soldiers serving in the international security force in Afghanistan.

All three suspects went to Pakistan for training and had been experimenting with explosives and trying to build car bombs.

The police found in the search after the arrest 35% solution of hydrogen peroxide, stored in a hideout, which could have been mixed easily with other additives to produce a bomb with the explosive power of 550 kilograms (1,200 pounds) of TNT.  In a Sauerland holiday home the police found 26 military detonators smuggled from Istanbul, Turkey, to Germany.

The 35% solution of hydrogen peroxide suggest that the suspects manufactured Triacetone Triperoxide, a home made highly unstable but effective explosive commonly used by the Palestinians in their terror campaign against Israel.

The German police have evidence that the detonators found by the police were smuggled, unwittingly, in late 08/2007 by Aladin T, a 15-year-old German boy of Tunisian descent from Wolfsburg.  Aladin T. told the investigating judge that he traveled to Istanbul in August for a family celebration. During the trip he was approached in an Istanbul Mosque by a Turk. The two struck up a conversation, which led to Aladin T being asked to carry a white plastic bag containing jeans and shoes back to Germany for a friend who left them behind.

Aladin T agreed and was given 100 euros to travel from Istanbul by bus and train to Hannover. In a Braunschweig  Mosque Aladin T was approached by one of the suspects — Fritz Martin Gelowicz. The investigators later found the same shoes, sawed apart, at the Sauerland holiday home: The Islamists had hidden the detonators inside the soles.

The German and European authorities are looking for 7 more suspects who are still at large.

* The three main suspects were officially charged for plotting a terror attack on Tuesday 09/02/2008.

* Two more suspects in connection with the Ramstein Plot were arrested in Frankfurt on 09/19/2008 .

* On Wednesday 09/25/2008 the German prosecutors announced that Eric Breininger, 21, a German and Houssain al-Malla, 23, a German Muslim resident from Lebanese descent, could be headed to Germany after leaving a terrorist training camp in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The men are members of “Islamic Jihad Union” (IJU) and linked to the Ramstein  plot.

* Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel said, on 06/17/2013, U.S. intelligence was key to foiling a large-scale terror plot, acknowledging her country is “dependent” on cooperating with American spy services, reffering to the plot.

But Angela Merkel also told broadcaster RTL on Monday that she was “surprised” to learn of the scope of recently leaked U.S. electronic spying programs. Merkel said the USA must clarify what information on people’s communications is monitored and how.

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