KARLSRUHE, Germany – Two suspected Al Qaeda members accused of planning a suicide attack in Iraq were being brought before a judge Monday to determine whether there is enough evidence to hold them while federal prosecutors investigate, officials said.
Ibrahim Mohamed K., a 29-year-old Mainz (search) resident from Iraq and Yasser Abu S., a 31-year-old Palestinian who was living in Bonn (search), were arrested Sunday on suspicion of membership in a terrorist organization.
The Iraqi, alleged to have trained at Usama bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan and have fought American forces there, is accused of recruiting suicide attackers in Germany and providing logistical help to Al Qaeda.
He also is believed to have tried to obtain 48 grams of uranium (search) in Luxembourg, though authorities said they had no further information about that incident.
He is accused of having had contact with Ramzi Binalshibh (search), believed to be the key contact with Al Qaeda for the Hamburg cell, which included three of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers. Binalshibh, a Yemeni, was arrested on the one-year anniversary of the attacks in Pakistan and is now in secret U.S. custody.
The Palestinian, who was born in Libya and has an Egyptian passport, is believed to have planned to fake his death for insurance money and then carry out a suicide attack in Iraq, according to chief federal prosecutor Kay Nehm.
The Iraqi is believed to have recruited the Palestinian — a Bonn medical student — in September for a suicide attack in Iraq, getting more than $1 million in life insurance for him, with the aim of faking the man's death in a car accident in Egypt, prosecutors said. The majority of the insurance payoff was to fund Al Qaeda activities, they said.
Germany has cracked down on suspected terrorist and extremist activity since the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Prosecutors said the pair had not planned any attacks in Germany, although the arrest comes weeks ahead of President Bush's planned visit to Mainz.
On Jan. 12, police took 22 suspects into custody during raids that investigators said were unconnected to the weekend's arrest. Those raids, on a network of Muslim extremists, turned up militant Islamic propaganda and forged passports.