German al Qaeda suspect arrested in Turkey

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ISTANBUL, Nov 7 (Reuters) A German citizen has been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of planning attacks in Germany as part of an al Qaeda cell, Turkish police said today.

A spokeswoman for Germany's Federal Prosecutor's Office said they were requesting the extradition of the man, who was arrested in the central Turkish city of Konya.

Turkish state news agency Anatolian said earlier that Konya police were coordinating an investigation into a 22-year-old man with Interpol. Anatolian said he was a German citizen and named him as Attila S.

The arrest follows the arrests of three German citizens in Germany in September. Police accused them of planning bombings across Germany with explosives equal to the force of 550 kilos of TNT.

German police said the three suspects, two German converts to Islam and an ethnic Turk, had given them the names of up to 50 suspected Islamic militants.

The head of Germany's BKA federal police, Joerg Ziercke, told Koelner Stadt Anzeiger newspaper earlier this week that the suspected Islamic militants had trained in Pakistan and returned to Germany to carry out attacks.

The arrest of the three was the culmination of an investigation that began more than a year ago, when U.S.

officials alerted German authorities to e-mails intercepted from Pakistan.

REUTERS NC RK2210

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