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Germany

Terrorist suspect arrested in Germany's Saarland region

Police have detained a man suspected of posting three videos online threatening to carry out attacks if an imprisoned terrorist were not released. Police officers had been watching the "dangerous loner" for weeks.

Terrorist video on a monitor

Terrorist threats are often made in video messages

A terrorist suspect has been arrested in Germany's Saarland region on Friday after posting three videos threatening to carry out terrorist attacks online.

The videos appeared on Youtube in mid-October, Saarland police said in a statement. The suspect had been under surveillance for several weeks, and was detained at his apartment on Friday morning.

Release demand

The man demanded the release of an imprisoned member of the so-called Sauerland group which attempted to blow up US army bases in Germany in 2007.

Daniel Schneider, one of the member of the so-called Sauerland group

The suspect demanded the release of Schneider

Convict Daniel Schneider, who is serving his 12-year prison term in the Saarland region, was, like the arrested suspect, based in the town of Neunkirchen. Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, has been observing activities in the Neunkirchen area for some time.

Schneider's lawyer said his client opposes the videos and the attempt to free him.

"Very emotional, very dangerous"

According to state prosecutor Bernd Meiners and Franz Josef Biesel, head of Saarland's bureau of investigation, the arrested terrorist suspect is an 18-year-old convert from Cameroon who has become a "very emotional, very dangerous loner" without ties to terrorist groups.

The investigators added that the suspect had also downloaded instructions on how to build a bomb from the Internet.

"He did not know Daniel Schneider on a personal level. But he is a role model to him," Helmut Albers from Saarland's Office for the Protection of the Constitution said.

Meanwhile, the wife of the Sauerland group's leader has been charged with supporting a militant group affiliated with al Qaeda in Berlin today.

Last month, the United States and Britain issued warnings to travellers visiting Germany and France. Intelligence sources spoke of plots against European cities involving al Qaeda and allied militants, some of whom were European citizens or residents.

Author: Sarah Steffen (dpa, Reuters, AP)
Editor: Ben Knight

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