Germany: Terrorist cell in deep slumber
11 August 2009
The confession presented by Fritz G. on 10 August to the Criminal court in Düsseldorf, in the course of the trial of the members of an alleged Islamic terrorist cell, leaves no doubt: Fritz G. is indeed the leader of the "Sauerland" group, which planned several car-bomb attacks against American forces stationed in Germany in an attempt to force Berlin to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. "They acted in the name of a terrorist group that is also known as the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU). In the light of this confession, there can be no further doubt that the IJU does exist," reports Tageszeitung. However, the daily also emphasizes that the case has revealed some positive news. The group, which had the materials to produce bombs that were 100 times more powerful than those that killed 52 innocent victims in London in 2005, suffered from a chronic shortage of personnel. The IJU delegated the four defendants to carry out the attacks because they had no other available agents – even though the defendants, who wanted to fight in Iraq, had protested that they should not be used because they knew they were being monitored by police. As TAZ notes, "information gleaned at the trial should be enough to dispel the German media myth of dozens of sleeper terrorists awaiting orders."