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Cablegate: Federal Prosecutor Nehm Describes Germany's Counter-

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 FRANKFURT 001212

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/AGS
DEPARTMENT FOR INR/TNC - MIKE STEINITZ
DEPARTMENT FOR INR/EU - BOWMAN MILLER AND SHIRLEY RUEDY
DEPARTMENT FOR S/CT - PAUL BOYD AND STEPHANIE MOLNAR
DEPARTMENT FOR DS/OP/EUR

FBI FOR INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS UNIT - SUE CURTIS
FBI FOR COUNTERTERRORISM DIVISION - KEVIN FOUST

JUSTICE FOR CRIMINAL DIVISION, OFFICE OF TERRORISM AND
VIOLENT CRIMES - TERESA WALLBAUM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PINR PGOV AG GM
SUBJECT: FEDERAL PROSECUTOR NEHM DESCRIBES GERMANY'S COUNTER-
TERRORISM EFFORTS, EXPECTS ATTACK IN EUROPE

REF: BERLIN 496

1. (SBU) Summary: In a meeting with the Consul General on
February 3, Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm said that bilateral
cooperation is good at the working level, despite recent
tensions in overall German-American relations. Nehm is
confident that the Hamburg trial of Motassadeq will end soon
and is pleased with the work of Chief Judge Mentz. Nehm's
office handles terrorism cases and he expressed concern
about the current security situation in Germany, fearing
suicide attacks in Europe or elsewhere in case of a war with
Iraq. His office has received better support from the new
Federal Minister of Justice who took office last September
and he is well staffed with new positions and resources.
End Summary

The Hamburg Trial
-----------------

2. (SBU) The Federal Public Prosecutor is responsible for
prosecuting crimes which threaten domestic security, in
particular terrorism cases. The office also prosecutes
crimes affecting external national security such as
espionage or genocide. In a productive meeting on February
3 with the Consul General, Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm, a
central figure in Germany's counter-terrorism efforts, made
the following observations. Nehm stated that the Motassadeq
trial in Hamburg is making progress despite the problems his
office has encountered in recent weeks. He noted that
sometimes it is difficult for the prosecutor to provide
convincing evidence against the accused. While interviews
from Binalshib could not be used as evidence, it would not
have helped Motassadeq in any case. The prosecutors have
been able to contradict Motassadeq's claims point by point.
In that context, Nehm mentioned that German-U.S. cooperation
is excellent despite differences in the two legal systems.
Nehm also indicated that the U.S. may be expecting a much
harsher verdict than the Hamburg court will deliver: fifteen
years is the maximum sentence that can be expected in
Germany. Nehm hopes that the trial will end soon: the oral
verdict is expected February 19 (reftel). Nehm thinks Chief
Judge Albrecht Mentz is doing excellent job.

Nehm's Concerns about Terrorism
-------------------------------

3. (SBU) According to Nehm, the Federal Prosecutor's Office
is currently investigating approximately 60 cases, some of
which are related to terrorism. (Note: Before German
reunification, Nehm's office was investigating as many as
300 espionage cases per year. This number has declined
dramatically.) In the case of Mamoun Darkazanli, a Hamburg
merchant and alleged companion of Osama Bin Laden, suspected
of laundering money, Nehm said that the law had prevented
further pursuit of the case. An investigation has been
underway since last October, but with meager results and
insufficient evidence to justify his continued detention.
Nehm believes that Darkazanli was not a member of the
Hamburg group.

4. (SBU) Nehm admitted that profiling efforts had not been
very successful in counter-terrorism. In battling the Red
Army Faction (RAF), there were certain indicators, which
helped locate the group's members (i.e. paying rent in
cash). Unfortunately, there are so many different types of
Islamic extremists of different nationalities and with
different goals, that they can find no similar set of
behavior patterns to help locate suspects. Nevertheless,
police have put together a list of potentially dangerous
persons. The arrest of members of the Al-Tawhid group was
the result of this.

5. (SBU) The Federal Prosecutor expressed concern about the
current security situation in Germany. Although things seem
quiet at the moment, he is certain an attack of some kind is
being planned. Therefore, every tip must be taken
seriously. Nehm mentioned the bureaucratic problem of the
Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) federal intelligence service.
If the BND has information and passes it onto the police,
the BND can no longer pursue the case. The BND's function
is limited to observation only, which has proven to be a
significant disadvantage in counter-terrorism. In case of
an Iraq war, Nehm expects suicide attacks in Europe and
other locations outside the Middle East. He also expects
that leftist extremists will try to undermine peace
movements. Nehm also voiced concern about a rise in violent
crime perpetrated by ethnic Germans, and an increase in
white-collar crime, especially corruption.

6. (SBU) Nehm was not shy in describing the relationship
between him and his former boss, Federal Minister of Justice
Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, as strained. The relationship, he
stated, had so deteriorated that he expected to be removed
from his job. (Note: Daeubler-Gmelin resigned the day after
Germany's national elections on September 22, 2002 after
making a controversial remark comparing President Bush to
Hitler.) Nehm described the Daeubler-Gmelin as "not very
helpful" towards his organization. Under the new Justice
Minister, Brigitte Zypries (SPD) the atmosphere has improved
significantly. His office is managing the increased
workload well and has 39 new positions. In fact, he
admitted that he now has the best resources of any ministry.

German-American Relations
-------------------------

7. (SBU) Throughout the meeting, Nehm repeatedly expressed
his regret over the present tensions between Germany and the
U.S. and stressed the importance of the bilateral
relationship. According to the Federal Prosecutor,
relations at the working level, however, have not been
affected and are functioning efficiently.

8. (U) This message was coordinated with Embassy Berlin.

BODDE

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