Suspect Punished for Refusing to Stand at German Terror Trial

A judge ordered disciplinary measures against an Islamic terrorist suspect Thursday, ruling he was in contempt of court as he and three co-defendants went on trial on charges they plotted attacks on American targets in Germany.

Adem Yilmaz, 30, refused to stand up during the swearing-in of a translator as the trial opened Wednesday, telling the court: "I only stand up for Allah." He also refused to stand when the judges entered the courtroom on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Judge Ottmar Breidling ordered a week's detention for Yilmaz that will be added to any possible sentence, calling his actions "provocative disrespect" of the court.

Yilmaz, a Turkish citizen, is being tried along with another Turk and two Germans on charges of plotting to attack U.S. and other targets in Germany ahead of an October 2007 vote by the German parliament on extending German troops' stay in Afghanistan.

German authorities arrested Yilmaz, 30, along with alleged ringleader Fritz Gelowicz, 29 and Daniel Schneider, 23, at a rented cottage in central Germany on Sept. 4, 2007.

The fourth suspect, 24-year-old Attila Selek, was picked up in Turkey in November 2007 and later extradited to Germany. Selek is a Turkish citizen, while Gelowicz and Schneider are both Germans who converted to Islam.

Prosecutors allege that the group planned car bomb attacks on sites such as pubs, discos and airports, and considered targets in cities, including Frankfurt, Dortmund, Duesseldorf, Cologne, Stuttgart, Munich and Ramstein — where the U.S. military has a large air base — with the aim of killing "as many people as possible."

All the suspects are accused of being members of the radical Islamic Jihad Union, an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. They face charges including membership in a terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit murder.

The charges together carry a 10-year maximum.

The trial, being held in a high-security courtroom, is scheduled to last at least until the end of August.