Four men have gone on trial in Germany on accusations of planning a series of bomb attacks as destructive as the September 11 strikes on the US.
The three Germans and one Turkish national could be on trial for up to two years. The prosecution alleges the men, who had reportedly followed training in camps in Afghanistan, were targetting airports, pubs and nightclubs, as well as a US naval base. “I have been a prosecutor for many years, but I have to say that until now, I have never led an investigation where the defendants intended to kill that many people,” the prosecutor said. The defendants have remained silent since their arrest at the end of 2007 and said they would not testify. “Let’s assume that my client did attend a training camp, which still needs to be proved,” said one defence lawyer. “Is it possible that his goal was not to carry out attacks in Germany but to join the Jihad? And in that case, he wouldn’t need to belong to a terrorist group but he would simply need to have contacts abroad.” Police say they seized enough material to make more than 500 kilos of explosives in the cottage occupied by the men before their arrest. If convicted, the four face up to 15 years in jail.