2 Terrorism Suspects Arrested on KLM Flight
By Craig WhitlockWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, September 26, 2008
BERLIN, Sept. 26 -- Two Somali-born men who had left notes saying they were willing to sacrifice themselves for "jihad" were pulled off a flight at the Cologne airport this morning, moments before it was scheduled to depart for Amsterdam, German authorities said.
The pair had been under surveillance for months, the German newspaper Bild reported, citing unnamed police officials. Police officials said they moved to arrest the men after searching their apartments and finding notes suggesting that they intended to take part in a terrorist attack.
Authorities identified the men as a 23-year-old Somali national and a 24-year-old German citizen born in Mogadishu. Officials did not immediately release their names or give other details of where they had been living prior to their arrests.
"They are under suspicion of intending to participate in the jihad and in possible attacks," Frank Scheulen, a spokesman for police in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, told German television. "Farewell letters were written."
Police said they boarded KLM Flight 1804 at 06:55 am local time, 10 minutes before it was scheduled to depart for Amsterdam. A KLM spokesman said all passengers were removed from the plane until police could locate luggage belonging to the suspects. The flight was allowed to depart after an 80-minute delay, airport officials said.
German counterterrorism officials have warned of a heightened risk of terrorism in the country, citing threats by Islamist groups over the presence of German troops in Afghanistan.
On Thursday, the federal prosecutor's office issued a public alert seeking information on the whereabouts of two terrorist suspects believed to have returned to Germany after attending militant training camps in Pakistan.
The two suspects, Eric Breininger, 21, and Houssain al Malla, 23, are suspected of involvement with a group called the Islamic Jihad Union that was accused of planning attacks against U.S. targets in Germany a year ago.
German federal police officials said, however, that they did not believe the suspects named in the alert were connected with the men arrested at the Cologne airport on Friday.
Enter the Brotherhood
IPT NewsSeptember 25, 2008
DALLAS – After two days of background, prosecutors in the Hamas-support trial against five former officials at the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) got to the heart of their case Thursday, presenting evidence that the charity was the fundraising arm of a vast Muslim Brotherhood plan to help Hamas and to infiltrate the United States.