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Al-Qaeda-Iraq link being investigated in Germany, report says
Wed Feb 5 2003 13:11:03 ET

Munich, Germany (dpa) - Federal investigators in Germany are looking into a possible threat of attacks by a Jordanian linked by the United States to the Iraqi regime, according to a published report.

The report, due to hit newsstands in Thursday's edition of Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, says investigators believe Abu Mossab Al Zarqawi was planning assassinations and other attacks in Europe.

The 36-year-old terrorist is believed to be the ;operative head'' of the El Tawhid group which planned attacks in Germany last year. The United States believes he may be a link between al Qaeda and Iraq.

German investigators base their suspicions on evidence obtained during raids last April on El Tawhid suspects in several German cities. The raids netted videos, forged identity papers, computers and mobile phones.

Germany's Chief Prosecutor Kay Nehm said at the time that ;evidence pointed to'' impending attacks on targets in Germany.

The newspaper report says investigators turned up evidence in the form of bugged phone calls and eyewitness testimony by a mole who worked for both sides, all of it implicating Zarqawi directly.

A mole was quoted as saying Zarqawi had called him the previous year from a hideout in Iran and had ;ordered'' him to carry out attacks in Germany in retaliation for Israeli incursions in the West Bank and Gaza.

The attacks were to target ;Israeli installations'' in Germany such as synagogues. The mole was quoted as being told by Zarqawi that Germans were to be spared if possible, but that Jewish blood must be shed.


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