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Germany Thwarts Plan to Bomb U.S. Facilities

German officials on Wednesday arrested three men accused of plotting to bomb American facilities in Germany. A reporter in Berlin provides further details on the incident.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    The breakup of the bomb plot in Germany. We have a report from Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post in Berlin. Gwen Ifill talked with him earlier this evening.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Craig Whitlock, welcome.

    It was last April that a warning went out to Americans in Germany that there may be a terrorist threat. Now there were months of surveillance for this latest one, and an arrest was made now. Why now? What took so long?

  • CRAIG WHITLOCK, The Washington Post:

    Well, that's a good question. They had kept this group under surveillance very closely for many months. I think they wanted to find out what they were up to; I think they also wanted to build enough of an evidentiary case to make sure that they had a strong prosecution at trial.

    But I think the biggest factor was that German authorities said that these men started moving these chemicals they had assembled over many months to build a bomb from a storage locker in the Black Forest of Germany up to a vacation house they had rented a couple of hundred miles north. And it appeared to them that they were getting ready to the point where they were going to put these bombs together. They also had electronic components and detonators. So I think that was the main reason that prompted the arrests.

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