Plot to bomb EL AL airliner foiled in Germany

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
German authorities have arrested six terror suspects all of Arab nationalities, for allegedly attempting to place an explosive charge on an aircraft leaving Frankfurt International Airport. According to investigators, one of the planes targeted was an Israeli EL AL airliner on its way to Tel Aviv.

The German newspaper Die Walt has revealed the arrest of the six suspects who allegedly planned the bombing. According to a statement made by the prosecution, some of the suspects approached an employee of the airport with access to secure areas, probably this summer during the World Cup tournament, and asked for his help to place a bag with explosives on an airliner in return for a payment of some kind.

The prosecutors said that the deal did not work out because the parties could not agree on a payment for the "service."

The six are likely to face indictments for membership in a terrorist organization or support of a terror group. The six were taken in for questioning on Friday but for reasons only known to the German prosecutors, five of them were released a day later. The sixth suspect remained in custody because of his involvement in another crime.

According to the prosecutors there are other suspects allegedly involved in the plot. According to the report, German security forces conducted searches in nine apartments in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse in southwestern Germany.

Security sources in Israel have confirmed that over the past months, there were several pinpointed warnings on attempts by terror organizations to conduct terror attacks against EL AL planes in Europe in general and in Germany specifically. In one case, pinpointed information brought to an increase of security on one specific EL AL flight from Germany this summer.

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