Ansar al-Islam in Germany Iraqis Convicted of Allawi Assasination Plot
A court in Stuttgart has convicted and sentenced three Iraqis for the attempted murder of former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. They had planned to attack him during a trip to Berlin in 2004.
After a two-year trial, three Iraqi men accused of plotting to kill former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi during an official Berlin visit were handed hefty sentences by a German court on Tuesday.
The Stuttgart state court convicted the three men of attempted participation in a murder and membership of the terrorist organization Ansar al-Islam, a group with links to al-Qaida.
The ringleader, 34-year-old Ata R., was given a 10-year sentence while his accomplices Rafik Y. and Mazen H. were sentenced to eight and seven and a half years, respectively.
The prosecutors said the three had planned to attack Allawi at a business forum at a bank in central Berlin during a visit to Germany in 2004. A few weeks before the trip, Ansar al-Islam had called for the then-prime minister of Iraq to be killed.
The three men were arrested separately by anti-terror units on Dec. 3, 2004, the day of the planned attack.
All three defendants are Iraqi citizens of Kurdish origin. The group they belong to, Ansar al-Islam, was formed in the Kurdish part of Iraq in 2001 and is believed to have been behind attacks on coalition forces in Iraq.
According to the indictment, the three men were also active in recruiting new members and collecting donations which they transferred to the terrorist group in Iraq.