BACKGROUND: Four Islamist plotters convicted in Germany
Mar 4, 2010, 12:22 GMT
Dusseldorf - The four plotters convicted Thursday on terrorism charges in Germany were:
FRITZ GELOWICZ, 30, who was jailed for 12 years for leading the terrorist cell, had an affluent middle-class German upbringing in the southern cities of Munich and Ulm. His mother is a doctor and his father is a businessman.
The court heard Gelowicz failed to match his father's expectations and was unable to pass exams at a top secondary school. His parents divorced. After converting to Islam at age 16 he began business studies and fell under the influence of a radical imam.
His ethnic Turkish wife was arrested this month on charges of fund-raising for the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), the group that trained Gelowicz in the Pakistan province of Waziristan. Gelowicz insisted at trial he had given up his links with the IJU.
DANIEL SCHNEIDER, 24, received 12 years for membership in the IJU and for the attempted murder of a policeman who was arresting him. He had a devoutly Catholic childhood in the western town of Neunkirchen, assisting religious services as an altar server.
A lover of rock music and basketball as a youth, he appeared to become lost after his parents' messy, long drawn out divorce. He began misbehaving at school, received convictions for robbery and assault and was rejected when he applied to join the army.
He dropped out of school with a year-and-a-half still to go and became a fervent Muslim.
ADEM YILMAZ, 31, received 11 years for membership in the IJU. His parents were immigrants from Turkey. Employed as a department store detective, he was far less educated than the two Germans in the group and often shouted or behaved uncouthly during the trial.
He knew how to move volunteers to the terrorist camps in Pakistan in secrecy and managed the money affairs of the cell. With a boyish enthusiasm for the Jihad, he seemed thrilled to have been trained in the methods of terrorism. Psychologists describe him as megalomaniac.
ATILLA SELEK, 25, was not one of the three main plotters and received a lesser sentence, five years for supporting the IJU. Born in Turkey, Selek seemed to have settled into Germany fairly well, and was offered a job after his apprenticeship as a car painter.
But then he became connected with the radical imam in Neu Ulm who is seen as the inspiration for the militants. Convinced that the sexes must be separated, Selek became hostile to his employer because the paintshop took on a woman as an apprentice and he resigned.
His contact with Gelowicz, who adopted him as a 'little brother,' led him into the world of terrorism. He has told the court he hopes to bring his wife to Germany from Turkey after he serves out his sentence and start his life over. But Germany may try to deport him.