Apparently inspired by Islamic State propaganda, largely through the Internet, two young Germans of Arab background were charged with planning massive terror attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets in Berlin.
Two 21-year-old Arab Germans were charged with planning a terror attack against the Israeli embassy and other Israeli and Jewish targets in Berlin, including a local synagogue.
The prosecution opened its case on Tuesday, charging the men with “planning a massive act of violence,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
Both of the accused are believed to have been inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization through the Internet, a spokesman for Berlin’s Criminal Court told the Post.
Before they were charged, the accused had been planning to commit the attacks sometime between December 2014 and July 2015, the prosecution said.
ISIS, experts say, targets high school and college-aged youth with Jihadist recruitment campaigns using social media and propaganda, often with success.
Christopher Dickey, a foreign editor of The Daily Beast, told CNN last year that many recruits are young men in their teens and 20s. What draws them into the fight is a combination what he calls “TNT,” which stands for Testosterone, Narrative and Theater.
Their drive is a deadly combination of youthful fantasies and aspirations to “be someone,” Dickey said.
The accused in this case seems to fit that description.
“We wanted to experience something incredible,” said one of the defendants in court, according to the Berliner MorgenPost daily paper. The other said he wanted “to show off.”
Authorities discovered ISIS propaganda on one of their cellphones, and neighbors reportedly called police after seeing what they thought could be explosives at their home.
Reports refer to them merely as Ali and Mohammed; their surnames were not released. It has not yet been decided whether they will be charged as adults or as adolescents. The legal age for adulthood in Germany is 21, and they were charged before their 21st birthdays.
Both deny that they were planning acts of terror.
In November, also in Germany, a soccer stadium was evacuated when explosives were discovered in a parked ambulance outside. A concert venue was also cleared out due to a terror threat.
The trial is expected to continue until January 14.
By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from The Jerusalem Post)
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Source: United with Israel