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German Police Arrest Terrorism Suspect - 2001-10-23


German police say they have arrested a Turkish citizen on suspicion of planning violence and belonging to a terrorist group. Authorities say the man's luggage contained materials for a detonator and other suspicious items.

German authorities say Harun Aydin's luggage contained a computer CD ROM with instructions for an Islamic holy war, a protective suit against biological and chemical warfare and material for making the detonator for a bomb.

The police acted swiftly, arresting him at Frankfurt airport as he was about to board a plane for Teheran. The arrest was made last Wednesday.

Mr. Aydin's lawyer has told reporters the luggage belonged to someone else.

The federal prosecutor's office says the 29 year-old Turkish citizen is suspected of having planned serious acts of violence as a member of a terrorist group. A Frankfurt court then ordered him detained.

So far, authorities are not alleging any link with the terrorist cell, based in the German port city of Hamburg, which is under investigation in connection with the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Authorities say Mr. Aydin has known connections with other militant Islamic groups suspected of planning terrorist attacks. They say he was a co-defendant in the trial of Muhammed Metin Kaplan, who is serving a four year prison sentence for calling for the killing of a rival.

Mr. Aydin was acquitted for lack of evidence in that trial.

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