First it was Denmark, then Norway. Now the Germans have made a big anti-terror bust, arresting three men and charging them with plotting to blow up Americans.
Three suspected Islamic terrorists from an al-Qaida-influenced group nursing "profound hatred of U.S. citizens" were arrested on suspicious of plotting imminent, massive bomb attacks on U.S. facilities in Germany, prosecutors said Wednesday.
German Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms said the three, two of whom were German converts to Islam, had trained at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, a group based in Central Asia. They had obtained some 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide for making explosives.
"We were able to succeed in recognizing and preventing the most serious and massive bombings," Harms told reporters.
Harms declined to name specific targets, but said the suspects had an eye on institutions and establishments frequented by Americans in Germany, including discos, pubs and airports.
Sudwestfunk televison, citing unnamed security sources in Berlin, reported that Frankfurt international airport and U.S. Ramstein Air Base were among the targets.
I’m not a chemist, but apparently hydrogen peroxide can be mixed with other chemicals to make a pretty powerful explosive — according to the Germans, the equivalent of 1,200 lbs. of TNT, larger than the Madrid and London bombings. Given the arrests in Norway and Denmark, one wonders if al-Qaeda wasn’t planning a series of spectacular, near-simultaneous strikes in these three countries. That fits their style.
There are several observations to be made about these latest incidents: first, Western security agencies have gotten pretty good at tracking these lunatics and disrupting their plots. Second, don’t get complacent, yet; we’re going to miss one someday and a lot of people are going to die for it. Our enemy tries again and again: we have to be right every time; they have to be right only once.
These events are also stark reminders that the jihadis aren’t just in Iraq, Algeria, or Afghanistan, but here in the Western democracies they so despise. Effective counterterrorism work requires effective counterintelligence, and that requires electronic surveillance, undercover work in radical groups and, yes, profiling. With proper safeguards and oversight, these are all compatible with liberal democracy and civil liberty. To deny ourselves these tools is to tie our hands behind our back and guarantee a disaster down the road.
(hat tip: Blue Crab Boulevard)
LINKS: More at LGF, Gateway Pundit, Hot Air, Jihad Watch, Atlas Shrugs, Power Line, and Captain’s Quarters. Pajamas Media has lots of links and notes the approach of the September 11th anniversary. German blog David’s Medienkritik notes the strong anti-Americanism of the suspects and blames the German media for helping to fuel it.