Germany has charged three Iraqis with plotting to kill former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi during a state visit to Germany last year, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The three are suspected of being members of the radical Islamic group Ansar al-Islam. Prosecutors said they filed the case Nov. 10 with a state court in the southern city of Stuttgart.

The suspects — identified as Ata R., 31, Mazen A. H., 23, and Rafik M. Y., 31 — were arrested Dec. 3 on suspicion of planning an attack on Allawi, who was in Berlin at the time.

The three, all German residents, were charged with membership of a foreign terrorist group as well as conspiracy to kill Allawi. Ata R., the alleged ringleader, and Mazen H. also were charged with breaking German export laws in connection with suspected fund-raising for the terror group, prosecutors said in a statement.

Ata R. allegedly was Ansar al-Islam's top official in southern Germany, had close contacts to its leaders and carried out logistics for its operations in Iraq and Iran, prosecutors said.

In describing the alleged plot, prosecutors said Rafik Y. decided to try to kill Allawi during a scheduled event at a branch of Deutsche Bank AG in downtown Berlin on Dec. 3.

They said he telephoned the other two suspects, more senior members of the group, to ask for approval. They gave their consent in a call on Dec. 2 along with a pledge of financial help. Rafik M. then inspected the scene of the planned attack.

Frauke Scheuten, a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe, said there was no maximum sentence for the conspiracy charge. The charge of membership in a foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Ansar al-Islam, which was formed in the Kurdish parts of Iraq, is believed to include Al Qaeda members who fled the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2002.

Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, is believed to have played a key role in the group. The United States has offered a $25 million reward for al-Zarqawi's capture — the same amount as for Usama bin Laden.