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Germany Says Al-Qaida Suspects Were Planning Bombing

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German officials say three suspected al-Qaida members arrested on Friday had been planning a bomb attack in the country.

Prosecutor Rainer Griesbaum told a news conference Saturday that the trio had planned to attack a crowded place but had not yet picked a target. He said they were still in the experimentation stage.

Authorities said they decided to arrest the three when surveillance indicated they were pursuing making a detonator, a sign they might be close to carrying out an attack. The suspects had reportedly discussed planting the bomb on a bus.

The three men, all from Morocco, were taken into custody Friday in the western German cities of Duesseldorf and Bochum.

The main suspect, a 29-year-old Moroccan citizen identified as Abdeladim El-K., has been charged with membership in a foreign terrorist organization. Officials say he trained last year in an al-Qaida camp in the Pakistani region of Waziristan near the Afghan border.

The other suspects are a 31-year-old and a 19-year-old.

Police arrested the men on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack and said they posed a "concrete and imminent danger" to the country.

In a statement, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said the incident proves that Germany remains a target of international terrorists.

Germany had previously received information that al-Qaida may have been planning a "Mumbai-style" attack in the country later this year - a reference to the 2008 terrorist siege in India's financial capital in which 166 were killed.

Officials said the three suspects had praised Thursday's deadly bomb attack on a cafe in Marrakech, Morocco.

Moroccan officials say the bombing appears to be the work of al-Qaida.

Article by VOA News