Tuesday, November 21, 2006

German Police Foil Bomb Plot Against El Al

Investigators have uncovered a plot to bomb a El Al Airlines commercial aircraft in Germany this year using explosives smuggled on board hidden in luggage, the federal prosecutor's office said. "During the summer, several suspects made contact with an individual who had access to the security-restricted zone of the Frankfurt airport," a statement said. The individual agreed to help smuggle explosives concealed in a case or a bag onto a plane in return for payment, it added. But the plot broke down when the as yet unidentified suspects failed to reach agreement with the airport employee on the amount he would be paid to plant the luggage. The prosecutor's office gave no details of which airport was involved. Six suspects were arrested in Germany in connection with the plot, but five were released the following day. A sixth person was kept in custody in connection with a different matter. All six suspects are being investigated for allegedly belonging to a terrorist organisation. Investigators searched nine apartments in the southern region of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse in central Germany looking for evidence, a spokesperson said. A spokesperson for the interior ministry said he had nothing to add to the information given by the prosecutor's office.Germany was shaken this summer after it was discovered that homemade bombs hidden in suitcases failed to explode on two passenger trains, because of faulty detonators. Two Lebanese men have been charged with planting the suitcases on trains heading for the western cities of Hamm, near Dortmund, and Koblenz on July 31.