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Germany

Turkey extradites German terror suspect

Turkey has extradited a German citizen, suspected of Islamist terrorism, to his homeland for trial. He is believed to be linked to the Sauerland cell convicted for a failed terrorist plot in March.

The 'Sauerland' cell on trial in Duesseldorf in March 2010

Salih S. is believed to have provided supplies to a member of the convicted Sauerland cell

A suspected Islamist terrorist has been extradited from Turkey to his native Germany, federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe said on Wednesday.

The man, identified only as 28-year-old German Salih S., was sent from Turkey on Tuesday to face charges of providing support to, and becoming a member of, a terrorist organization.

A statement from the German federal prosecutor's office said that he is suspected of working for the extremist Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) since November 2006.

He is believed to have supplied equipment to Adem Yilmaz, a Turkish national sentenced to 11 years in jail for planning large-scale bomb attacks in Germany as part of the so-called Sauerland cell.

The prosecutors' statement said Salih S. gave Yilmaz "three GPS devices, night-vision goggles and three compass watches, as well as other equipment."

After training in guerrilla warfare in Waziristan, the mountainous region of northwest Pakistan which has become a haven for insurgents, Salih S. is believed to have sworn an oath of loyalty to become a full member of the IJU from May 2007.

He was arrested in Turkey in November 2008, but bailed in February 2009. He was re-arrested in June and arrived in Germany on Tuesday, where he was remanded in custody. He is likely to be formally indicted soon.

The Sauerland cell was sentenced to between five and 12 years in jail in March, in Germany's biggest terror trial in decades. Its four self-confessed Islamist militants included two converted Germans, one German-Turkish citizen and one Turkish national. They had planned a series of bomb attacks for October 2007, during a parliament vote to extend German participation within NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Author: Thomas Sheldrick (AFP/dpa)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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