Two Terrorism Suspects Arrested on Plane in Germany

By Matthew Harwood

German police this morning boarded a plane at Cologne airport and arrested two men for alleged ties to terrorism, reports the Associated Press.

At 6:55 a.m. this morning, German police boarded a KLM flight to Amsterdam and detained two men: a 23-year-old Somali man and a 24-year-old German man born in Somalia.

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According to the AP:

Germany's top-selling Bild newspaper, citing police sources, said the men had been under observation for months and a suicide note was found in their apartment saying that they wanted to die for the "jihad" or "holy war."

The Netherlands is still considered an attractive target for jihadist terrorism, especially after the release of the film "Fitna" in March. The film, made by a Dutch lawmaker, displays Koranic texts set against a backdrop of violent images of terrorist attacks and radical clerics' calls for violence, such as 9-11. Muslims worldwide consider the film sacrilegious.

A recent Dutch counterterrorism report warned the release of the film made the Netherlands a "preferred target" for jihadist terrorists, which led the government to raise the terrorism threat level to "substantial."

The Dutch, however, are not immune to the threat of terrorism arising from the free expression of its citizens. In November 2006, a cartoonist's depiction of the prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb atop his head printed in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper led to outrage and deadly rioting across the Islamic world. The reprinting of the same cartoon this year resulted in the evacuation of  Dutch embassies in Afghanistan and Algeria after terrorism threats were received.

The Dutch papers reprinted the cartoon after police arrested three men for conspiring to murder the cartoonist.


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