German Sept. 11 Dragnet Reportedly Ineffective | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 08.04.2004
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German Sept. 11 Dragnet Reportedly Ineffective

A criminal dragnet started by German Interior Minister Otto Schily after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 has failed to round up a single "sleeper" terrorist, according to German ARD television. Despite sifting through 8.3 million pieces of evidence and following up over 19,000 leads, German authorities started only one investigation, which was later closed. The police union reportedly criticized the dragnet, which relied on computer databases, as completely without effect. German has been a focal point of investigation ever since it became known several of the alleged Islamic terrorists that carried out the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington had lived and studied for years in the northern German city of Hamburg. Schily reportedly ordered the dragnet to investigate predominately Muslims under 40 who were studying in Germany.