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Turkish Intelligence Links to Islamist Terror Plot in Germany?

10:15 PM, Aug 4, 2009 • By ULF GARTZKE
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Germany's Der Spiegel magazine reported over the weekend that the four Islamic terrorists charged with trying to blow up Frankfurt Airport on September 11, 2007 had informants inside Turkish intelligence that allowed them to obtain classified investigative material about their own group previously collected by German federal police and then shared with Turkish authorities.

One of the detained, Turkish-born Attila Selek, has told German police that during a meeting in Istanbul Turkish Islamist Mevluet K. provided him not only with the detonators for the planned bombings but also passed on the confidential German intelligence information that he claimed to have obtained from "acquaintances" inside Turkish security services. German authorities have already demanded a full explanation from their Turkish counterparts to shed light on these very serious allegations. So far, Ankara has already confirmed that Mevluet K. used to work as an informant for Turkish intelligence, but claims that the cooperation had stopped by the time the terrorist plot in Germany was being prepared. If true, this report by Der Spiegel -- aptly titled "Confession Strains German-Turkish Relations" -- would be a further serious blow to the bilateral ties between Berlin and Ankara, which have already been strained for quite some time. Furthermore, this politically-explosive report certainly bolsters the strong opposition expressed by many Germans (and by many other Europeans for that matter) to Turkish EU membership.