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German Terror Cell Member Faces 5 Years

November 19, 2003

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) _ Prosecutors sought five years in prison Wednesday for a terror suspect who claims he served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard in Afghanistan and allegedly helped plan attacks in Germany.

Shadi Abdellah, a 27-year-old Jordanian, should receive half the maximum term of 10 years because his detailed testimony increased authorities’ understanding of al-Qaida, federal prosecutor Dirk Fernholz said during closing arguments.

Abdellah, charged with membership in a terrorist organization and making fake passports, was one of nine alleged Islamic extremists detained in April 2002 on suspicion of plotting imminent terror attacks in Germany.

He has given extensive testimony since his trial opened June 24, saying he was part of the Al Tawhid group led by fugitive Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a fellow Jordanian he befriended in 2000 while in Afghanistan to undergo al-Qaida paramilitary training.

Abdellah has testified that Al Tawhid planned to attack the Jewish Museum or another target in Berlin, as well as a Jewish-owned discotheque or bar in Duesseldorf, where the trial has taken place under tight security.

He described Al Tawhid as a radical Palestinian network that aimed to topple the Jordanian government and ``fight the Jews.″

The verdict is expected on Nov. 26.

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