Terror attack using model aircraft foiled in Germany

Terror attack using model aircraft foiled in Germany

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8636044_sGerman authorities searched nine homes and properties in the Stuttgart area, in the area around Munich, as well as in Saxony and Belgium.

A spokesman for Germany’s Attorney General confirmed to the Daily Telegraph that the suspected plot involved the use of model planes fitted with explosives.

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The Attorney General’s office said in a statement: “The searches in the Stuttgart area and in Belgium were directed against two men of Tunisian origin who are suspected of collecting information and items for the commission of radical Islamist bombings with remote-controlled model aero planes.”

According to the Telegraph two of the suspected plotters were students in the aeronautics department at the University of Stuttgart, who were developing systems for using GPS to guide pilotless aircraft, according to the German public broadcaster SWR.

Police raids also targeted the homes of four of the men’s acquaintances, who are being investigated on suspicion of financing militant jihad. One acquaintance of the suspected plotters is under investigation for money laundering. No arrests have been made, authorities said.

The statement read: “The aim of today’s search is to obtain evidence of potential attack plans and preparations, and to gain insight into the means of financing radical Islamist terrorism.”


The raids involving about 90 police officers were carried out by the German equivalent of SWAT teams, as police feared the suspects might be armed.

In 2011, the FBI foiled a plot to attack the Pentagon and US Capitol with remote-controlled model planes carrying explosives. Rezwan Ferdaus, a US citizen, obtained a 7ft model plane that could fly at up to 100mph. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 17 years in prison, last year.

Germany has seen only one deadly attack by an Islamist radical; the shooting of two US servicemen at Frankfurt airport in 2011. The attacker, who was born in Kosovo and grew up in Germany, told the court he was radicalized by watching jihadist propaganda online.

The footage he saw, allegedly a US atrocity in Iraq, was in fact a clip from a Brian de Palma movie, Redacted.

There have been several attempted attacks in Germany, which stayed out of the Iraq war but is the third largest contributor to international forces in Afghanistan.