'Hamas terrorists who planned terror attack' appear in court

‘Hamas terrorists who planned to carry out terror attack on Jewish institutions across Europe’ appear before German court as it is claimed the four men ‘had close ties to senior leaders’

  • Four suspected Hamas terrorists were flown to Karlsruhe to appear before judge 

Four suspected Hamas terrorists accused of preparing to carry out a terror attack on Jewish institutions across Europe are today appearing before a German court.

Egyptian national Mohamed B., the Lebanon born Ibrahim El-R. and Abdelhamid Al A., also from Lebanon, were flown to the German city of Karlsruhe in a helicopter to appear before a judge today after being arrested in Berlin yesterday. 

A fourth suspect, Dutch national Nazih R., is being taken to appear before the same judge after he was arrested by police in the port city of Rotterdam yesterday. 

The four men are said to have begun preparing a weapons cache in Berlin where arms would be ‘kept in a state of readiness in view of potential terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe’, German federal prosecutors said. 

The suspected terrorists are said to have ‘close ties’ to the senior leaders of Hamas’s military wing, who launched a devastating rampage on Israel on October 7, massacring 1,200 Israelis as they begged for their lives. 

Federal Police officers lead two suspects out from the helicopter for their arraignment at the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Friday 

Federal Police officers lead two suspects out from the helicopter for their arraignment at the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Friday

Federal Police officers lead two suspects out from the helicopter for their arraignment at the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Friday

A helicopter of the Federal Police lands with the terror suspects for their arraignment at the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Friday 

Heavily armed German police officers raided Ibrahim El-R’s apartment in Berlin last night, with cops seizing several cool packs containing ammonium nitrate gel which can be used to make explosives, reports Bild.

The four men are suspected of being tasked with finding a previously set-up underground Hamas weapons cache in Europe that would be used in attacks on Jewish institutions across the continent. 

At least one location in Germany was said to be the planned target of a terror attack, reports Tagesschau, with the order coming from the Hamas leadership in Lebanon.

Their appearance in court today came after Danish authorities said they too had prevented a terror attack, arresting three more suspects on Thursday.

One of them was released, prosecutor Anders Larsson said early Friday after a night-long custody hearing at a Copenhagen court. But he stopped short of saying whether the person still was considered a suspect.

Two suspects are still being held in police custody in Denmark after they were ordered to remain in pretrial detention until January 9. 

Larsson also said that four other people were held in ‘pretrial custody in absentia,’ but he didn’t say whether authorities knew their whereabouts or if an active manhunt was underway. However, he said without elaborating that there is ‘still someone at large.’ 

None of the suspects can be identified because of a court order and the custody hearing was held behind ‘double closed doors’ – meaning no details were available about the case, which is shrouded in secrecy. 

Danish police refused to comment on whether there was any link between the arrests reported in Denmark and Germany.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said meanwhile in a statement that Danish security forces had ‘thwarted an attack, the goal of which was to kill innocent civilians on European soil.’

‘The Hamas terrorist organisation has been working relentlessly and exhaustively to expand its lethal operations to Europe, and thereby constitute a threat to the domestic security of these countries,’ Netanyahu said.

Danish police did not go into details about the suspects or give any indication as to the possible target of the alleged plot.

Danish police said raids were ongoing across the country and were carried out at an early stage of the investigation 

FILE – Palestinian militants from Hamas ride on a truck with their weapons

‘It was a group that was planning an act of terror,’ Flemming Drejer, head of operations at the PET intelligence service, told a news conference.

There were ‘ramifications involving other countries’ and organised crime, he added.

The threat level against Denmark is judged to be elevated, with the PET putting it at four on their five-point threat scale.

Police stepped up their presence in Copenhagen but said the capital remained ‘safe’.

The Jewish community nonetheless cancelled a public Hanukkah celebration planned for Thursday evening, Danish media reported.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the operations ‘show us the situation that Denmark is in’.

‘For several years we have noted that there are people who live in Denmark and who do not wish us well, who are against our democracy, our freedom, and who are against Danish society,’ she told reporters.

Over the summer, Denmark and neighbouring Sweden became the target of anger in several Muslim countries after a slew of protests in Scandinavia involving burnings and desecrations of the Koran.

In Iraq, nearly a thousand protesters attempted to march on the Danish embassy in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone in late July following a call by firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr.

Between July 21 and October 24 this year, 483 book burnings or flag burnings were recorded in Denmark, according to national police figures.

In response Denmark’s parliament adopted a law earlier this month that criminalises the burning, tearing or otherwise defiling of religious texts such as Islam’s holy book.

In 2006, a wave of anti-Danish anger and violence erupted in the Muslim world following the publication in the small Nordic country of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

And in February 2015 a gunman who had voiced allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group opened fire at a cultural centre in Copenhagen that was hosting a forum on Islam and free speech.

Last year, a Danish court sentenced an IS sympathiser to 16 years in jail for plotting a bomb attack. The verdict was the most severe ever handed down under Denmark’s anti-terrorism laws.

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