Monday, January 24, 2005

BBC: Germans arrest 'al-Qaeda members'

Two suspected al-Qaeda members have been arrested in Germany, prosecutors have said.
The men are accused of planning suicide attacks and of trying to buy uranium. The 29-year-old Iraqi and a 31-year-old Palestinian were detained during early morning police raids in Mainz and Bonn, Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm said.

The BBC's Ray Furlong in Berlin says the arrests come at a sensitive time, as US President George W Bush is due to visit Mainz next month.

Mr Nehm said the two men had been under police surveillance for some time.

Co-ordinated raids

One of the men had allegedly trained at al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and had links with Osama Bin Laden.

As well as planning attacks, the suspects were also accused of trying to obtain uranium in Luxembourg, Mr Nehm said.

Germany has been trying to clamp down on Islamist groups since it emerged that some of the 9/11 hijackers had a base in Hamburg, our correspondent says.

Earlier this month, German police detained more than 20 suspected Islamic militants in raids across the country.

In December, they arrested three men they claimed were planning to attack the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

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