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Germany

Germany Sets Trial Date for Alleged Terrorist Trio

A German court has announced a spring trial for an alleged group of suspected home-grown terrorists accused of planning bomb attacks. The men were arrested more than a year ago.

Suspects being arrested by police and taken to police van

Police arrested the three suspects in July 2007

Germany is to try three men starting April 22 on charges of belonging to a terrorist gang, conspiring to murder and preparing a crime with explosives, more than 18 months after police detained the trio, a court spokesman said Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Dusseldorf.

The alleged terrorists include two Germans who converted to Islam. The other defendant has Turkish citizenship. An armed police squad arrested them in September 2007 after months of observation.

Also on trial is a man alleged to have obtained 26 detonators in Syria for the Islamist plot.

Said to have al-Qaida ties

One of the German men accused faces an additional charge of attempted murder of a police officer for grabbing a police pistol and firing it during the arrest in the village of Oberschledorn. Police say the group was affiliated with the Islamic Jihad Union, a group similar to al-Qaida.

They were allegedly planning to set off a bomb at or near a US military base in Germany and had bought chemicals to make the explosives, but were monitored by police and detained before they could do any harm.

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