BERLIN – Four men were charged Thursday with membership in a terrorist organization for allegedly planning to carry out an al-Qaida attack in Germany.
The group's leader — 30-year-old Moroccan national Abdeladim El-Kebir — was also accused of undergoing training at a terror camp in the lawless Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, federal prosecutors said.
El-Kebir allegedly recruited and indoctrinated the group's other members, whose last names weren't provided in line with German privacy laws.
A 32-year-old German-Moroccan, Jamil S., is accused of being responsible for helping produce explosives, while 20-year-old German-Iranian national Amid C. and 27-year-old German citizen Halil S. are alleged to have had mostly logistical tasks.
Halil S. is also accused of trying to pursue the plot after the other three men were arrested in the western German cities of Duesseldorf and Bochum on April 29, 2011. After evading authorities for several months he too was arrested in Bochum on Dec. 8, 2011.
Prosecutors said the "Duesseldorf Cell" was part of a plan by al-Qaida leaders to recruit and train jihadists to carry out terror attacks in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
"According to the results of the investigation, the accused planned to conduct a spectacular terror attack in Germany," prosecutors said in a statement. "However, they had not yet selected a specific target for the attack."
The men remain in custody.