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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08FRANKFURT1020
2008-04-07 09:19:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Frankfurt
Cable title:  

Law Enforcement Copes with Challenges of Global Terror in

Tags:   PTER  KHLS  KJUS  PGOV  ASEC  GM 
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VZCZCXRO4932
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHFT #1020/01 0980919
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 070919Z APR 08
FM AMCONSUL FRANKFURT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5509
INFO RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 FRANKFURT 001020 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/AGS, EUR/PGI, DS/IP, DS/ITA, AND S/CT

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2018
TAGS: PTER KHLS KJUS PGOV ASEC GM

SUBJECT: Law Enforcement Copes with Challenges of Global Terror in
Southwest Germany

REF: 07 Berlin 1767; 07 Berlin 1681

Classified By: CG Jo Ellen Powell for Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 FRANKFURT 001020

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/AGS, EUR/PGI, DS/IP, DS/ITA, AND S/CT

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2018
TAGS: PTER KHLS KJUS PGOV ASEC GM

SUBJECT: Law Enforcement Copes with Challenges of Global Terror in
Southwest Germany

REF: 07 Berlin 1767; 07 Berlin 1681

Classified By: CG Jo Ellen Powell for Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).


1. (C) Summary. The September 4 arrests of three terror suspects
tied to the Islamic Jihad Union highlighted the prevalence of Islamic
extremism and homegrown terrorism in Baden-Wuerttemberg, a large and
conservative southern German state. All three suspects, two of whom
are German converts, spent considerable time in extremist circles in
Ulm, a mid-sized city, and much of the preparation for the foiled
attacks took place in the state as well. State police officials have
made combating Islamic terrorism a top priority, spending an immense
amount of manpower and time on a small number of cases. They worry,
however, that they cannot possibly track all suspects or overcome the
technological and legal challenges posed by an ever-moving target.
End Summary.

The IJU Case: A Success for the B-W Police
--------------


2. (C) Officials at the Baden Wuerttemberg (B-W) State Office of
Criminal Investigations told Pol Off and Regional Security Officer
March 13 that the three men arrested for plotting terrorist attacks
on September 4, 2007, Fritz Gelowicz, Daniel Martin Schneider and
Adem Yilmaz, first came under B-W police surveillance in January,
2007 after an alert from the federal police (see reftels). The
police effort to monitor the suspects tied to the Islamic Jihad Union
(IJU) involved close coordination between police in several states
and the federal police. The B-W officials said that, in their state,
over 130 officers worked on the case, an enormous use of manpower
that would not be authorized for other types of cases such as
organized crime. Judges also issued authorizations for phone and
automobile surveillance on an expedited basis.


3. (C) Going forward, the trial must start within one year after the
arrests, and the officials guessed it would take place at the federal

court in Duesseldorf. Currently, investigators and prosecutors are
sorting through the vast body of evidence, which consists mostly of
captured hard-drives and taped surveillance. According to the
police, the three suspects were wary of discussing their plans over
the phone, but did so in their automobiles, which, while often
rented, were nevertheless under surveillance. The police worried
that, once this evidence became public at the trial, currently active
terrorists would adjust their tactics. The suspects allegedly did
not target any specific locations, but were looking at discos
frequented by U.S. soldiers as well as U.S. facilities. The police
said they had one taped conversation where the suspects said they
wanted to kill hundreds with each attack and "get the Americans and
their whores."

Muslim Extremism in B-W: An Ongoing Challenge
--------------


4. (C) According to the police, they currently monitor 100-200
Islamic radicals in the state who may be involved in terrorist
activities. The Islamists are based in four areas: 1. Ulm, home of a
long-standing Islamist scene begun by hate preacher Yehia Yousef in
the 1990s; 2. Boeblingen, an offshoot of the Ulm scene centered
around the Sunnah mosque; 3. Stuttgart, the state capital and home to
many Bosnian refugees who follow the Wahabi form of Islam; and 4.
Offenburg, a small city close to the French border and home to many
North African immigrants. The combined Muslim population in B-W is
over 600,000 Muslims, 9,000 of whom are considered radically
oriented.


5. (C) According to the police, the arrests and two earlier ones in
Dortmund and Koblenz forced the police to change their strategy of
tracking sleeper-cell terrorists from abroad in order to pay more
attention to homegrown suspects such as Gelowicz and Schneider.
These suspects present a greater challenge to law enforcement, as
they offer less of a distinct profile. Police concentrate on
individuals who have attended terrorist training overseas, which is
still not a crime in Germany. Officials admitted they rely heavily
on surveillance and have had little success penetrating radical
groups with informants.


6. (C) While B-W police felt the legal and judicial system worked
well in combating terrorism, they saw several areas for improvement.
They would like to see the introduction of laws that allow for
greater monitoring of online activity as well as preventative

FRANKFURT 00001020 002 OF 002


telephone surveillance. In B-W, the presence of the Free Democratic
Party -- traditionally a strong defender of civil liberties -- in the
government is currently preventing progress on these issues. The
police are currently working harder to deport foreign students who
abuse their status. They also work closely with educational
institutions and Muslim communities, keeping an eye out for any
emerging extremist groups.


7. (C) Comment: The IJU's recent claim that a German citizen, Cuneyt
Ciftci, was responsible for the March 3 suicide bombing in Khost,
Afghanistan that killed two U.S. soldiers highlights the threat posed
by terrorists with links to Germany and underscores the need for
continued vigilance on the part of law enforcement and security
officials. Ciftci had lived in the neighboring state of Bavaria.
B-W police see Islamic extremism as an ongoing challenge and to deal
with it, law enforcement agencies are increasingly dependent on the
legal system's ability to adjust to changes in terrorist tactics and
technology. However, the cost in time, energy and resources spent by
the police is immense and takes away from other cases. End Comment.


8. This cable was coordinated with Embassy Berlin.
POWELL