SPIEGEL ONLINE

SPIEGEL ONLINE

11/20/2006 11:44 AM

Terrorist Threat

Germans Foil Plan to Bomb Jet

Six terror suspects have been arrested in Germany after a plot to bomb a passenger plane is allegedly foiled.

Germany's Federal Prosecutor's Office said on Monday a terrorist plot had been foiled and six people were temporarily taken into custody over an alleged plan to bomb a passenger jet here over the summer.

The suspects were believed to have been preparing explosives to be used in an attack on a passenger plane, the prosecutor's office stated.

So far, details are vague. Prosecutors claim that several of the suspects met in summer 2006 with a person who had access to the security area of an airport. The individual, prosecutors claim, had been prepared to smuggle a suitcase or bag packed with explosives onto a plane for a fee.

Prosecutors said the accused had made contact with their terrorist backers, but they had been unable to reach a final agreement on the amount they would pay the smuggler.

On Friday, investigators with Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) searched nine apartments in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. Police took six suspects into temporary custody and interrogated them. With the exception of one suspect, who was wanted on unrelated charges, all were released on Saturday. Prosecutors have not released any information about the nationalities or backgrounds of the suspects.

However, officials did say the measures taken on Friday and Saturday had enabled them to garnish "evidence about the status of planning, the people ... and terrorist groups involved."

dsl/ddp/dpa

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