German bomb plot suspect confesses in court

Alleged ringleader of terror cell whose plot to attack US targets in Germany was foiled tells court he and co-defendant trained in Pakistan.

August 10, 2009 19:59
2 minute read.
German bomb plot suspect confesses in court

Gelowicz 248.88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The alleged ringleader of a radical Islamic terrorist cell whose plot to attack US targets in Germany was foiled by authorities told a court Monday his group wanted to do as much damage to Americans as possible. Fritz Gelowicz told the court he and co-defendant Adem Yilmaz had trained in a terrorist camp in Pakistan - initially planning to try and carry out attacks in the region, but then decided they could do more damage to US targets in Europe at less risk to themselves. "With less cost we could achieve much greater damage," he said. He said the group decided the main target would be American soldiers in Germany, but that they also considered other targets of political significance, like a consulate. Gelowicz and Yilmaz, both 29, and co-defendants Daniel Martin Schneider, 22, and Attila Selek, 23 are suspected of operating as a German cell of the radical Islamic Jihad Union - a group the US State Department says was responsible for coordinated bombings outside the US and Israeli embassies in Uzbekistan in July 2004. Though no pleas are entered under the German trial system, lawyers for all four men accused in plot have said they had decided to confess, hoping to mitigate their sentences. Prosecutors allege that they were plotting bombing attacks in Germany against American citizens and facilities across the country. Gelowicz said he was the leader of the cell, and acknowledged that they were part of the IJU, though downplayed its significance. "The people don't come together to join a group, but to wage jihad," or holy war, he said. Gelowicz said he and Yilmaz learned how to use assault rifles, and received instruction in hand-to-hand combat and explosives training in their three months at the training camp in 2006. The four face charges of membership in a terrorist organization, preparing bombing attacks and conspiracy to commit murder and a bombing attack - which together carry a 10-year maximum sentence. Schneider faces an additional charge of attempted murder, which carries a possible life sentence, because he is alleged to have fired a police officer's gun in a tussle during his arrest in 2007. No one was injured. They all have given statements to federal police confessing to some of the charges against them, according to their lawyers, but their official statements to the court began Monday. "I've never experienced anything like this in my career as a judge," Presiding Judge Ottmar Breidling said during the session. He underlined that their confessions would influence their sentences. Gelowicz, Schneider - both German converts to Islam - and Yilmaz, a Turkish citizen living in the country, all were arrested in Germany on Sept. 4, 2007. They have been held in custody ever since. Selek, also a Turkish citizen, was arrested a month later in Turkey. The group had stockpiled 1,600 pounds (730 kilograms) of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide, purchased from a chemical supplier, and could have mixed the peroxide with other substances to make explosives equivalent to 1,200 pounds (550 kilograms) of dynamite, German officials have said. But German authorities - acting partly on intelligence from the US - had been watching them and covertly replaced all of the hydrogen peroxide with a diluted substitute that could not have been used to produce a bomb.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a news conference following Tuesday's midterm congressional el
November 17, 2018
New elections and the Trump peace plan