German investigators were trying to build a case on Thursday against a handful of suspects beyond the three arrested in connection with a foiled terrorist attack by Islamic militants, and German officials prepared to debate whether security services should be given wider surveillance powers.
Wolfgang Schäuble, the conservative federal interior minister, who for months has called for tougher security measures, made it clear this week that he wanted to expand investigators’ reach using highly debated techniques.The techniques include sending fake e-mail messages with Trojan horse viruses to suspects to help security agents conduct two types of searches: “perusal” and longer-term “surveillance.”Mr. Schäuble has also called for rules allowing investigators to ban some terrorist suspects from using mobile phones to undermine their ability to communicate, in a proposal that appears to be modeled on similar measures already in place in Britain, and for new powers to punish people who have been to camps where they are trained in terrorist methods to attack the West.
Germans Say U.S. Officials Helped to Foil Bombing Plot
The discovery of a plot to detonate powerful bombs in Germany this week was a result of close cooperation between American and German security officials, with intelligence passing back and forth between the two sides, German officials said Saturday.American intelligence was instrumental in first bringing the foiled plot to the attention of German intelligence and law enforcement officials, according to German and American officials. Interceptions of e-mail messages and telephone calls between Germany and both Pakistan and Turkey raised the initial red flags last year, they said. But the Americans also wanted to protect their sources, a German intelligence official said, which meant that the earliest warnings were vague.