Mr and Mrs Jihad Wife of Homegrown Terrorist Arrested over Fundraising Activities
The wife of a well-known German Islamist has been arrested in connection with fundraising activities on behalf of the Islamic Jihad Union. Police have also held two other suspected terrorism supporters.
The members of the German homegrown terrorist group known as the Sauerland Cell are currently on trial in Düsseldorf, accused of plotting to bomb American targets in Germany. Now it has been revealed that the wife of the alleged ringleader has been arrested on suspicion of supporting a foreign terrorist group.
The woman, who has not been named, was one of three suspected terrorism supporters who were arrested in Germany on Saturday. The 28-year-old woman and the two men, aged 20 and 31, are accused of having assisted the foreign terrorist group called the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe announced on Monday.
The woman is believed to be the wife of Fritz Gelowicz, the alleged leader of the Sauerland Cell group which plotted to carry out terror attacks against American targets in Germany on behalf of the IJU. Three of the cell's members were arrested in September 2007 as they were preparing to carry out bombing attacks. The verdict in the trial is expected on March 4.
The authorities refused to confirm or deny the woman's relation to Gelowicz, citing the defendant's privacy rights. Gelowicz had earlier told the court that he had abandoned violent jihad. There had been no previous indication that his wife, who has refused to testify in the trial, was involved with the militant Islamist group.
The woman is reported to have collected money on behalf of the IJU, together with the 20-year-old suspect arrested, who was identified as Alican T. According to federal prosecutors, the pair had collected a total of 2,450 ($3,339) since October 2009 -- when Gelowicz was already on trial -- and transferred it to a presumed IJU go-between in Turkey. All the three suspected terrorism supporters have German passports but come from immigrant families.
Alican T. has been under observation for several months. SPIEGEL reported Monday that just over a week ago, police had halted a train traveling to Vienna and had removed the man in order to prevent him leaving the country. He allegedly wanted to travel to the Afghan-Pakistani border region to join Islamist groups based there.
With reporting by Yassin Musharbash, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark
dgs - with wire reports