Three suspected Islamic terrorists have been arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting attacks on Frankfurt airport and the nearby US military base in Ramstein, authorities said today.
Prosecutors said they had arrested three suspected members of “an Islamic-motivated terrorist organisation”, but gave no further details.
German defence minister Franz Josef Jung told broadcaster ARD the three men were suspected of targeting the airport and base.
Two of the suspects had German citizenship while the third was Pakistani, public broadcaster Sudwestrundfunk said.
Sudwestrundfunk said the men were arrested last night and were close to carrying out the attacks. German law enforcement officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.
German and US officials have warned of the possibility of a terrorist attack and security measures had been raised, they said.
Germany, which did not send troops to Iraq, has largely been spared terrorist attacks such as the train and Tube bombings in Madrid and London – although its involvement in the attempt to stabilise Afghanistan against Islamic militants has led to fears it may be targeted.
In July 2006, two gas bombs were placed on commuter trains, but did not explode in an attempt security officials said was motivated by anger over cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper. Several suspects are on trial in Lebanon and a Lebanese man has been charged in Germany.
Frankfurt airport is continental Europe’s busiest and the air base at Ramstein is a major transport hub for US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.