A Lebanese man, sentenced to life in a prison for a failed bomb plot in Germany, will be appealing the verdict, his lawyers say.
Prosecutors said 24-year old Yusef al-Hajj Deeb and an accomplice boarded passenger trains in Cologne two years ago, with suitcases containing propane gas and detonators.
The state prosecutor, Duscha Gmel, said: “I want to emphasize that Germany has never been closer to an Islamist attack than in this case.”
Though the bombs failed to explode because of a technical flaw, it was alleged Hajj Deeb held “terrorist motives”.
The court spokesman Ulrich Egger said: “In the court’s opinion, a lot of people would have been killed. Had the bombs exploded, the court estimated there would have been a fireball around 15 metres wide, as well as massive shrapnel caused by the explosion.”
But Hajj Deeb told the court he had built the bombs so they wouldn’t explode.
He said he had just wanted to frighten people, after the publication of newspaper cartoons making fun of the Prophet Mohammed.