Wednesday 8 October 2008, by AFP
German police commandos arrested two Somali-born terror suspects on a KLM aircraft Friday who media reports said had links to a group behind a foiled 2007 plot to attack US interests. Security forces boarded the Amsterdam-bound plane with 48 passengers on board at Cologne-Bonn at 6:55 am (0455 GMT) and took a 23-year-old Somali and a 24-year-old German citizen of Somali origin into custody, police spokesman Frank Scheulen said. He indicated that the two men had left notes in their apartments — they lived in the area — saying they were prepared to die in «holy war» and that they had been under police surveillance for several months. The two men were not named. «The (two) passengers were asked to get off the plane, there was a baggage inspection and then when everything had been removed a full check of the cabin took place,» KLM spokeswoman Ellen van Ginkel told AFP in Amsterdam. The twin-propeller Fokker 50 then took off and continued its journey as normal, she said. Scheulen said the arrests had been «nothing spectacular.» The Tagesspiegel and Bild papers cited unnamed security sources as saying the two men — named by the reports as Abdirazak B. and Omar D. — wanted to fly from Amsterdam to Uganda and then to Pakistan to join the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU). The IJU, a group with roots in Uzbekistan with ties to Al-Qaeda, is believed to be linked to the «Sauerlandgruppe,» a group of three men arrested in September 2007 on suspicion of plotting attacks against US citizens and interests in Germany.
The men were found with more than 700 kilos (1,500 pounds) of hydrogen peroxide, the substance used in the 2005 attacks on London’s transport system that killed 56 people. The chemicals had an explosive power equivalent to 550 kilos of TNT.
September 26, 2008