Germany – Between the years 2000-2007, ten people have been killed, eight of Turkish descent, one a Greek national and a German policewoman, by neo-Nazi organizations in the country. In 2011, two members of a neo-Nazi group known as the National Socialist Underground (NSU) claimed responsibility for the first killing by video, and then killed themselves. One of the two survived, and is due to stand trial along with several accomplices on May 6, after the trial had been postponed. This is the largest terrorist trial in Germany in decades. As those standing trial are from a far right group, they will receive a lot of support from other neo-Nazi organizations when the trial starts. Security around the courthouse will be very tight, but the possibility of a terrorist act prior to the trial will be on the minds of the German authorities. Once the trial begins, and if a guilty verdict is found, then Germany may experience a great deal of unrest from far right groups, to the extent that acts of terror may occur. The last major terrorist attack on German soil occurred on the September 5-6, 1972 at the Olympics, when members of the Palestinian militant group Black September murdered eleven members of the Israeli Olympic Team.
Spain – During the reporting period, Spanish police reportedly arrested two North African suspects thought to be linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. One man was an Algerian and the other a Moroccan. It is unclear why they were arrested, apart from a police statement that they possessed a similar profile to the Boston bombers. The pair may have been transiting from North Africa to France through Spain, as the French authorities had been tracking them, along with Spanish and Moroccan police. In the 361 Security Terrorist and Security Report from March 15, it was reported that the Spanish and French authorities had arrested two Chechen Islamists linked to al-Qaeda around Paris. It was thought that the pair was attempting to establish a terrorist cell in Spain. It is possible that the two recently arrested men from the Maghreb were trying to set up another terrorist cell to carry out attacks in either France or Spain. It is not clear, however, if the two incidents are related.
United Kingdom – A planned terrorist attack on the leader of the far right political party the English Defence League (EDL) by six Islamists was foiled by the UK police. The six men planned to assassinate the leader of the EDL after a rally which was being held in the north of England. One of the six was under surveillance for another possible terrorist plot when the information came to light. The six Islamists failed in their attempt due to the rally finishing earlier, and ironically, the six arrived at the rally late.
The plot involved an ambush on EDL members using shotguns, explosives, knives, and swords. Some of the individuals were travelling by car, which was stopped at a routine check, and the vehicle impounded for lack of a valid road insurance sticker. When the vehicle was searched, it was found to contain sawn-off shotguns, an IED packed with 458 pieces of metal shrapnel including nails, a partially constructed pipe bomb, samurai swords, machetes, and numerous knives. Also found were leaflets dated the June 30, 2012, the date for the planned attack.
The leaflets were titled, “Operation in Defense of the Prophet Mohammed,” and set out the justification for the attack. They also read:
"To the enemies of Allah and His Messenger: This is a message to the kuffar female devil, the self-proclaimed Queen Elizabeth and her accursed jubilee, fooling a nation of blind sheep. ... To the EDL (English Drunkards League), enemies of Allah: Today is a day of retaliation for your blasphemy of Allah and his messenger Mohammed…We love death more than you love life. The penalty for blasphemy of Allah and his messenger is death…What we did today was a direct retaliation for your blasphemy of Allah and the Prophet Mohammed."
Should this attack have occurred, there would have been huge reprisals against Muslims in the UK, as the EDL has a large following and states that it is standing up for the people of England against those who seek to turn it into a Muslim state. Although the six Islamists appear not to belong to a particular organization, there are several Muslim groups that oppose the English right-wing EDL, Combat 18, and the National Front (NF). Certain radical Muslims have created organizations to combat these groups. They are:
· Combat 786
· Islam 4UK – Formed by the militant Anjem Choudhary, which was banned by the British Government. The group is also known as al-Ghurabaa (“Foreigners”) and the “Saved Sect.”
· Muslims Against Crusaders (MAC) – Formed by the militant Anjem Choudhary. It is his new group after Islam4UK was banned.
All of these Islamist groups are banned by the United Kingdom government, but they tend to change their name once the government ban is in force. The six Islamists have been found guilty of terrorism and will be sentenced on June 6.