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Police launched "pre-emptive" arrestsImage: AP Graphics

Ten Detained in Europe for Uzbek Terror Ties

DW staff (th)
May 16, 2008

Police in France, Germany and the Netherlands detained 10 people on suspicion of having financial ties to an Uzbek group linked to al Qaeda.


Eight of the suspects were arrested in the eastern French city of Mulhouse and in the central Rhone region on Friday, May 16, according to a source close to the French investigation.

All of the suspects arrested in France were of Turkish origin, the unnamed source told AFP news agency.

The arrests in France were coordinated with police in Germany and the Netherlands. One 35-year-old Turkish national, who had been sought under a European arrest warrant, was arrested in Weil am Rhein, a German town near the borders with France and Switzerland. In addition, the Dutch public prosecutor's office said that a 48-year-old Turkish national was arrested in the city of Tilburg. Police seized computers, files and ammunition during searches of three homes in Tilburg.

Connections to Uzbek terrorists

All those arrested were suspected of supporting a funding network that helped finance the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a shadowy Uzbek-based organization, according to the German public broadcaster SWR.

The IJU first came to prominence in Europe with the arrest of a trio of alleged members in Germany in September last year for plotting a car bomb attack. Two of the trio arrested last year, Fritz G and Daniel S, were German converts to Islam. They and Adem Y, a Turkish national, are expected to face charges of buying bomb-making chemicals to attack the a US air base near Frankfurt as well as the US and Uzbek consulates.

Detentions were "pre-emptive"

The arrests were a "pre-emptive measure" and none of the suspects had committed attacks, the French source told AFP. The French domestic DST intelligence agency has been investigating the ring for a year and the arrests were ordered by the anti-terrorism judge Thierry Fragnoli, according to media reports.

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