INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Attack On Ramstein Afb Planned for Its Symbolic Value,

Published: Mon 21 Sep 2009 07:57 AM
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STATE FOR EUR/CE, EUR/PGI, S/CT, IO/PSC AND EEB/ESC/TFS
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TAGS: PTER PGOV PREL KISL KCRM PK UZ GM
SUBJECT: ATTACK ON RAMSTEIN AFB PLANNED FOR ITS SYMBOLIC VALUE,
TERRORIST SUSPECT SAYS
REF: DUESSELDORF 30
1. (U) Daniel Schneider, one of the defendants in the ongoing
terrorist trial of the "Islamic Jihad Union" (IJU) Sauerland
cell (reftel), testified before the Duesseldorf Higher Regional
Court on September 15 that the group considered attacking the
U.S. Air Force Base in Ramstein for its symbolic value. With
this attack, the group wanted to draw negative attention to the
U.S. military presence in Germany, according to Schneider,
adding that they planned to gain access to the base with forged
ID cards to deposit an explosive device and then flee the scene
on foot.
2. (U) In testimony from September 16, another defendant, Atilla
Selek, described the group's efforts to procure detonators from
Turkey with the help of Mevluet Kar, a Turkish national who
lived in Germany before he returned to Turkey in 2002. The
Federal Court of Justice issued an arrest warrant for him based
on his support of the terrorist group. According to Selek's
testimony, Kar surprised him with insider knowledge about the
group's membership and activities in Germany and Pakistan. Kar
claimed he had gotten the information from a relative working
for the Turkish intelligence service, MIT, implying that German
authorities had shared the information with MIT. After learning
from Kar that the group was under surveillance, Selek called
Gelowicz, the confessed leader of the Sauerland cell, and asked
him to stop preparations for attacks in Germany. However, as
Gelowicz testified earlier, the group fell into a trap laid by
the German intelligence services, who led the group to believe
the surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the
Constitution (OPC) had stopped, lulling the group into a false
sense of security.
3. (SBU) In a related development, a high-placed source in the
Court told the CG on September 15 that the judges dealing with
this case were consistently astounded by the depth of the
confessions made by the defendants. The most unexpected
development was that Adem Yilmaz, the most militant and
fundamentalist of the four defendants, now considers Ottmar
Breidling, the presiding judge, as his Emir or leader.
According to our source, Yilmaz, who initially refused to stand
for the court and shouted at Breidling that he only stands for
Allah, now regularly turns to Breidling for assistance in making
decisions. The Court expects to finish the trial by next
spring.
4. (U) This message was coordinated with Embassy Berlin.
WEINER
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