Fifth man in German Islamist cell may have been Turkish spy

Attila Selek

Attila Selek

The missing fifth member of an Islamist cell in Germany, which is accused of trying to target Western targets in the country, had connections with Turkish intelligence, according to unconfirmed German media reports. Four members of the group were arrested in 2007 while allegedly planning bomb attacks on US military bases in Germany. Two of them, Fritz Gelowicz and Martin Schneider, are German converts to Islam, while two others, Adem Yilmaz and Attila Selek, are of Turkish descent. But German news magazine Focus revealed on Saturday that Selek, who is accused of having ties with al-Qaeda, claimed in his trial last month that the group’s fifth man, who is still at large, had ties with Turkish intelligence. Selek said the man, who has been identified only as “Mevlut K.” by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, supplied fuses to the group and was the mastermind behind the bombing plan. “Without him, we would not have been able to do it”, Selek allegedly told the court. He also claimed that Mevlut K. notified the group that they were being monitored by German antiterrorism agents, and told them that he had acquired the information while working for Turkish intelligence. According to Der Spiegel, German prosecutors have been hesitant to arrest Mevlut K., not wishing to spark a diplomatic episode with Turkey. But Focus says that Attila Selek’s court testimony convinced German authorities that they must detain the so-called “fifth man” and an arrest warrant is currently being prepared.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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