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September 13, 2007
The Story behind Busting the German Terrorists
Excellent piece in Frontpage Magazine today about the foiled terrorist attack on Ramstein Air Base. The superb cooperation between the CIA and German intelligence spelled the difference:
As it turns out, according to a report in the German magazine, Der Spiegel, CIA officials had been working in close co-operation with German intelligence on this case for months, right up until the arrest of three suspects last week in an inconspicuous village in the state of North Rhineland-Westphalia. A joint team of American and German investigators had already been working in Berlin for some time on “Operation Alberich”, the name of a king in German mythology given to the project. US Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, told Der Spiegel that the cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services was never closer than during this investigation. "Operation Alberich" was the name given the joint CIA-German operation that successfully thwarted what would have been a terrorist attack using explosives a hundred times more powerful than the backpack bombs used during the London Bombings of 7/7.
The terrorist cell broken up last week apparently appeared on German intelligence agencies’ radar screens for the first time last fall after a warning from their US counterparts. American authorities alerted the Germans that the Islamic Jihad Union, an extremist, Uzbekistani outfit with ties to al Qaeda and to which these particular terrorists belonged, was setting up a network in their country. It is known that the IJU’s German members arrested last week had trained at terrorist camps in Pakistan in 2006 where they most likely came to the attention of the American security officials stationed there.
The only downside is that there are many other Islamist suspects still at large and the terrorists in custody aren't talking. But it is rare that you get as clear a win for our side as this: A huge and dangerous plot broken up and a major terrorist cell right in the heart of Europe rolled up.
Read the entire Frontpage article for additional details.