FRANKFURT – Two men went on trial Friday on accusations they were involved with a radical Islamic group whose alleged plans to attack U.S. targets in Germany were foiled by authorities in 2007.
Though not charged in the plot itself, Omid S., a German of Afghan background, and Huseyin O., a Turk, are being tried on more general charges that they supported the Islamic Jihad Union, an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan — a jihadist group with ties to Al Qaeda.
No pleas were entered, as is usual under the German trial system.
Omid S., 28, faces charges of membership in a foreign terrorist organization, while Huseyin O., 27, is charged with supporting a foreign terrorist organization.
Both face a possible 10 years in prison if convicted at the Frankfurt state court. Neither man's full name was released, in keeping with German privacy rules.
Authorities say both men have links to Adem Yilmaz, a Turk living in Germany who is currently standing trial in connection with the foiled 2007 plot.
Omid S. is accused of contacting the Islamic Jihad Union through Yilmaz and procuring supplies for the group such as night-vision devices and a GPS unit at the end of 2006 and in early 2007.
He left Germany for training at an Islamic Jihad Union camp in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area in May 2007, prosecutors have said.
Before heading off, he gave Yilmaz his bank card and security code so the Islamic Jihad Union would have access to the funds, prosecutors said. On his way to the training camp, he gave the supplies to an Islamic Jihad Union member in Iran, according to the indictment.
Upon his return to Germany in October 2007, Omid S. continued to provide logistical support for the terrorist organization, prosecutors said.
Huseyin O. is also accused of obtaining supplies for the Islamic Jihad Union and trying to arrange through Yilmaz to train at a camp on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He was arrested while trying to enter Pakistan through Iran in June 2007.
Prosecutors allege that he also gave Yilmaz access to his bank account so that Yilmaz could collect unemployment insurance funds that Huseyin O. had applied for.