Germany starts case against chemical trader over terrorist plot

25 May 2010 18:36  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--A court in Germany’s Lower Saxony state on Tuesday began hearing a case against a chemical trader charged with allegedly supplying hydrogen peroxide to an Islamic terrorist group to make explosives, the court said in a statement.

The court in Verden said the public prosecutor was alleging that the trader on three separate occasions in 2007 supplied a total of 10 cans of hydrogen peroxide – each with a capacity of 65 kilogrammes (km) - to a an Islamic terrorist group that was planning attacks in Germany.

The trader, whom the court did not identify, was using an online chemical trading platform, it said. 

In a separate report, regional German state television covering the trial’s opening said the trader was denying he knew or should have known that the hydrogen peroxide was bought to make explosives.

Rather, he said he thought the chemical would be used in contract cleaning of commercial buildings, said NDR television. The trader, who apparently had over 3,000 customers, told the court he was under significant pressure from work at the time, the station added.

In March, a court in Dusseldorf sentenced four members of the Islamic group the trader allegedly supplied – known in Germany as “Sauerland-Gruppe” – to jail terms of between five and 12 years.

The Dusseldorf court found that the accused had planned to use the hydrogen peroxide to produce 550 kilogrammes of TNT.

They planned, in particular, to blow up US facilities in Germany that would have killed a large number of Americans, the court said in its sentence. The attacks had been planned around the time Germany's parliament was due to extend the country's military commitment in Afghanistan, the court noted.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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