Suspected al-Qaeda Backer Arrested in Germany | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 13.09.2008
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Suspected al-Qaeda Backer Arrested in Germany

German police have arrested a 30-year-old Turkish man on suspicion of recruiting fighters for the terrorist network al-Qaeda, justice officials said on Saturday.

A map of Germany with a shooting target superimposed and a gunned man standing by

The West has been fighting a war against al-Qaeda ever since Sept. 11, 2001

Omer O. was detained on Friday in Sindelfingen in the south of Germany on the basis on an arrest warrant issued by the federal High Court.

Officials said O. collected donations and organized equipment for al-Qaeda terrorists on behalf of Aleem N., a Pakistan-born German resident who was arrested in February on terrorism charges.

The cash and equipment, including bullet-proof vests and a laptop, was taken by N. to the Pakistan-Afghan border between 2006-2007 and handed over to al-Qaeda operatives, the officials said.

Recruiting fighters

Smoke billows from one of the towers of the World Trade Center as flames and debris explode from the second tower

This year marked the seventh anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks on New York

O. was also accused of recruiting potential fighters from among his acquaintances and introducing them to N., who provided them with letters of recommendation for al-Qaeda.

Two of these recruits left Germany for al-Qaeda training camps, where one of them was trained in the use of explosives, according to the justice officials.

O. was also reported to have taken part in a training program at an al-Qaeda camp in mid-2006 after receiving a letter of recommendation from N.

N, 46, who has German citizenship, is due to appear in court shortly on six charges of supporting Islamist terrorists abroad.

He allegedly visited al-Qaeda camps along the mountainous Pakistan-Afghan border four times between April 2005 and June 2007 to donate thousands of euros of money, binoculars, radio-communications sets and night sights.

The prosecutors said he also underwent training in one camp in the use of explosives.

Targeting Americans?

A terror suspect, left lead away by masked policemen at the German Federal Court in Karlsruhe

German police already arrested three men suspected of planning attacks on US citizens

N. is also believed to maintained contacts with two German converts to Islam arrested earlier this year along with a Turk on terrorism charges.

The trio, picked up in the Sauerland region of Germany, are accused of making explosives intended for use against Americans living in Germany.

Al-Qaeda was established as a network in 1989 by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. The West has been trying to destroy it since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

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