German officials say they've uncovered a radical Islamist plot to use remote-controlled model airplanes packed with explosives to carry out terrorist attacks in Germany.
Police carried out nine predawn raids in southern and eastern Germany as well as Belgium in search of evidence of what prosecutors allege was a plan for a "serious, state-threatening act of violence." There were no arrests.
German police say they have arrested a 57-year-old trucker whom they accuse of carrying out 762 shootings on European highways over the past five years.
"We found the famous needle in a hay stack," said Joerg Ziercke, chief commissioner of the German Federal Criminal Police. "A dangerous criminal who on several thousands of kilometers of highway in Germany, France, Belgium and Austria would reach for a gun whenever, wherever to shoot at other vehicles and endanger people's lives. It's unprecedented in Germany criminal history."
Revelations of widespread U.S. spying on foreign Internet communications put a damper on President Obama's first state visit to Berlin. The German chancellor and other officials there say they want to know more about what the National Security Agency is looking at.
Yet the backlash has been more muted than expected. One reason is that the German government is doing similar surveillance.
Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:45 am
Credit Timur Emek / Getty Images
Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. 'Peace With Justice':
Speaking at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin — near the spot where John F. Kennedy made his famous speech almost 50 years ago — President Obama on Wednesday called on the global community to fight for democracy and freedom everywhere.
Now, as we've been reporting elsewhere in the program, President Obama is in Europe this week for the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland. On Tuesday, he heads to Germany to meet with German chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany is the EU's powerhouse. Its economic success has given the country political power, in part, because it's the region's biggest lender.