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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Germans thwart potential suicide attacker

BERLIN (Expatica) - A German woman who converted to Islam has been placed under surveillance after police thwarted an attempt by her to travel to Iraq as a suicide bomber, media reports said.

The 40-year-old, identified only as Sonja B., is one of three German women said to have used the internet to disclose their intention to carry out missions against US soldiers.

Police reportedly prevented them leaving Germany in April.

Sonja B., who lives in Berlin, was admitted to a psychiatric clinic after police were unable to obtain an arrest warrant because of lack of evidence against her, the reports said.

She was released after two weeks, but authorities took her two-year-old son
Abdullah into care, fearing that she might use the child to carry out her plan.

Police declined to comment on the state of their investigations, but a report in Berliner Zeitung newspaper said they were studying documents, computer files and telephone records seized from her apartment.

One of the three women suspects reportedly had contacts to the radical group Ansar al-Islam, which security services believe recruits suicide bombers in Europe and was behind a plan to kill Iraqi premier Iyad Allawi during a visit to Berlin in 2004.

Neighbours described Sonja B. as ''quiet woman'' who was deeply religious and always wore Moslem dress.

Last November, a Belgian woman who converted to Islam, Muriel Degauque, blew herself up in Iraq.

German man Steve Smyrek, another convert to Islam, was arrested by Israeli authorities before he could carry out a suicide attack in 1997.
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