A high-profile trial against several German members of al Qaeda has begun. Investigators have charged the men with planning a terrorism attack on German soil.
A German regional appeal court began proceedings on Wednesday against several alleged Islamist terrorists. Public prosecutors have charged the four with plotting a "sensational" terrorist attack on Germany. They have also been charged with belonging to al Qaeda.
Police apprehended three alleged members of the terror cell in April 2011 in Germany's northwest city of Düsseldorf. The following December, the police arrested a fourth supposed member of the so-called "Düsseldorf Cell" in a nearby city.
Investigators have said that the German group had begun building explosives, but had not yet chosen a specific target.
The four defendants are between the ages of 20 and 30. Three grew up in Germany. They are Jamil S., a German-Moroccan, Amid C., a German-Iranian, and Halil S. a German.
Abdeladim-K, the group’s alleged leader, moved to Germany from Morocco. He is said to have trained at an al Qaeda camp, believed to have been in the Afghan-Pakistani border region, and allegedly received orders from the terror network to carry out of the attack in Germany.
The hearing will take place in Düsseldorf over 30 sessions, ending in November.
kms/rc (dapd, dpa, AFP, Reuters)