A German court has convicted four Muslim men of plotting to attack U.S. soldiers and military facilities in Germany in 2007.
After a 10-month trial, a court in Düsseldorf handed down prison terms for four men, convicted of trying to mount, what the judge called a "second September 11."
The presiding judge said the men had planned a "monstrous bloodbath, designed to kill at least 150 people, mostly Americans"
Speaking for the court, Ulrich Egger talked about the many weeks of testimony.
Over the weeks the accused provided a great deal of evidence, he said, including background about the events.
The men are believed to have targeted various U.S. military facilities and German civilian sites.
Two German converts to Islam, Fritz Gelowicz and Daniel Schneider each received 12-year jail sentences. Thirty-one year old Adem Yilmaz, a Turkish citizen, was handed an 11-year sentence, while Attila Selek, a German of Turkish origin was given five years.
The men were captured in September 2007 after a massive surveillance operation. Three of them were caught in Germany with a substantial stockpile of chemicals for explosives. The 4th, Selek, was arrested in Turkey shortly afterward and extradited.
The plot has shocked many Germans.
Ulrich Egger says the judge commented on some disturbing developments.
The trial has thrown a spotlight on the issue of Islamic terrorism in Germany, he said - in particular the involvement of Germans who turn to radical Islam and commit crimes.
The four men claimed allegiance to a group called the Islamic Jihad Union, with ties to al-Qaida. Investigations following the 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, showed that they were planned in part by an al-Qaida cell in the German port city of Hamburg.