5 Mar 2010

Prison sentences for plotters

6:09 am on 5 March 2010

Four men have been convicted by a court in Germany of plotting to attack US targets there.

The men, two of whom were German-born converts to Islam, were sentenced to prison terms of between five - 12 years.

The judge said they had dreamed of mounting a second 9/11 attack by killing US civilians and soldiers by bombing targets like Ramstein Air Base.

They were accused of operating as a German cell of a group linked to al-Qaeda, the Islamic Jihad Union.

The BBC reports all four admitted during the 10-month trial in Duesseldorf to belonging to a terrorist organisation, plotting murder and preparing explosive devices.

Prosecutors said they trained at camps in Pakistan and had procured some 700kg of chemicals to produce 410kg of explosives.

Security services uncovered the plot in December 2006 and they were arrested in 2007.

According to the US State Department, the Islamic Jihad Union was responsible for co-ordinated bombings outside the United States and Israeli embassies in July 2004 in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.