German Police arrest terror suspects aboard KLM plane

By Sabine Siebold

 

BERLIN (Reuters) – German police boarded a Dutch airliner at Cologne airport on Friday and arrested two men suspected of planning to take part in terrorist attacks, a spokesman said.

 

The police spokesman identified the suspected Islamist militants, on a KLM aircraft about to take off for Amsterdam, as a 23-year-old Somali and a 24-year-old German born in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

 

“It all went off in quite an unspectacular manner,” he told Reuters television.

 

Police in the North Rhine-Westphalia district of western Germany said there was no indication the two were about to launch an attack.

 

“German police authorities removed two passengers from the plane…All the passengers had to get out for a check of all the luggage, and they removed the suspects’ luggage,” said a spokesman for KLM.

 

The flight, KL1804, continued its journey to Amsterdam just over an hour later.

 

Somalia is riven by a civil war pitching Islamist rebels against an Ethiopian-backed government. A large number of Somali refugees have moved to western Europe over 17 years of civil conflict.

 

Unlike Britain and Spain, Germany has not suffered a major recent attack on its own soil but Germans have been fearful since the northern port of Hamburg was used as a base for planning the September 11 attacks on U.S. targets.



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