German, Danish authorities thwart al Qaeda-linked terrorist plots, round up suspects, as 9/11 anniversary approaches

German officials say the threat was massive and would have been bigger than the Madrid and London bombing attacks. Three of the suspects were Germans who converted to Islam and one a Turkish national, all in their twenties and all trained in Pakistan in 2006.
Jorg Ziercke of the German Federal Criminal Police said Wednesday the attacks were ordered directly by al Qaeda. Danish intelligence officials confirmed that the eight suspects arrested in Copenhagen this week also had direct links to al Qaeda. They are of Afghan, Pakistani, Somali and Turkish origin. Six are Danish citizens. Several addresses in Copenhagen are still being searched.
US homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday: The continent of Europe remains at risk of orchestrated al Qaeda attacks at home. Al Qaeda continues to carry out active war against the West six years after 9/11.
The German Islamist extremists arrested Tuesday were targeting airports, bars, discotheques and airports frequented by Americans with a view to detonating explosives loaded in cars to kill or injure many people. They had detonators and accumulated huge amounts of hydrogen peroxide – enough for 700 kilos of explosives – the same chemical used by suicide bombers in the 2005 attacks in London, which left 56 people dead.
They belonged to the Islamic Jihad Union which has ties to al Qaeda. One of the suspects had been arrested for spying on a US military base in December but was released.
According to some media reports, the men had specifically targeted Frankfurt airport and the giant U.S. military base in Ramstein, the main staging hub for Iraq and Afghanistan where some 3,000 German troops are deployed.
Germany has been on high alert for several months. Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in May that Islamist groups represented the “biggest threat to the stability and security of Germany”.

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