Turkish-German on trial accused of jihadist pipe bomb plot
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
A German-Turkish man identified only as Halil D (C) stands next to his lawyer Ali Aydin (L) upon arrival at a court in Frankfurt am Main western Germany, at the start of his trial, as he is accused for plotting a pipe bomb attack, possibly targeting a bicycle race. AFP PhotoA German-Turkish man with alleged radical Islamist ties went on trial on Jan. 21 accused of plotting a pipe bomb attack, possibly targeting a bicycle race, last year.
The 36-year-old identified only as Halil D. faces up to 10 years jail if found guilty by a state court in the western city of Frankfurt of having planned a potentially lethal attack.
Police in a raid last April found a pipe bomb packed with nails and metal ball bearings, as well as weapons, ammunition and dangerous chemicals, in the basement of his building in Oberursel near Frankfurt.
Prosecutors claimed there was a "jihadist motivation" behind the alleged plot to commit a "serious subversive act of violence" and said D. had ties to Germany's ultra-conservative Islamic Salafist community.
Police were tipped off by a building supplies store where he and his wife had in late March purchased three litres (0.8 gallons) of hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent and disinfectant that can be used in improvised explosive devices.
The couple had provided the shop with false personal details, said police.
Authorities, fearing a bomb attack plot, cancelled a professional bicycle race that had been planned in the area for May 1.
The suspect's wife was also detained but released in July after she claimed she did not know about the materials her husband kept in the basement and said they bought the chemicals to remove mould.
Defence lawyer Ali Aydın argued that the man -- who was already known to police for previous offences ranging from assault to illegal weapons charges -- had not seriously planned an attack.
The man in the dock declined to speak and was fined 200 euros ($217) for refusing to stand despite repeated requests from the presiding judge.
The trial, held under tight security, was expected to call scores of witnesses and experts and run for 30 days of hearings until mid-June.