Fritz Gelowicz
Fritz Martin Gelowicz is a German best known to be the perceived ringleader of the 2007 bomb plot in Germany of the Uzbek Islamic Jihad Union
Islamic Jihad Union
The Islamic Jihad Union , also known as Islamic Jihad Group , is a terrorist organization which splintered from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan , and has conducted attacks in Uzbekistan and attempted attacks in Germany....

 of which police say they had stockpiled enough material to build bombs more powerful than those that killed 191 commuters in Madrid and 52 in London.


Gelowicz moved to Ulm
Ulm is a city in the federal German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the River Danube. The city, whose population is estimated at 120,000 , forms an urban district of its own and is the administrative seat of the Alb-Donau district. Ulm, founded around 850, is rich in history and...

 with his parents and brother at the age of 5. The Multi-Kultur-Haus in nearby Neu-Ulm
Neu-Ulm is a town in Bavaria, capital of the Neu-Ulm district. Neighbouring towns include Ulm, Senden, Pfaffenhofen an der Roth, Holzheim, Nersingen and Elchingen. The population is 51,110 .-History:...

, an Islamic centre preaching the strict Wahabi form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia, was the centre of the movement that became known in German intelligence circles as the Ulm Scene. Gelowicz converted to Islam as a teenager calling himself "Abdullah" or "Feliz" afterwards and became friends with Turkish born Tolga Dürbin
Tolga Dürbin
Tolga Dürbin, largely identified in the media as "Tolga D." as authorities attempt to shield his identity, is a 29-year-old German-Turkish man closely associated with the 2007 bomb plot in Germany, who had been known to the BfV as an "Islamist"....


Intelligence officials say Gelowicz's path led him through Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria, and to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

In 2004 police picked up Gelowicz and a friend for setting a book on fire in front of a shop in Ulm. In the car the men were driving, investigators found "propaganda material", according to court documents, including a CD with information praising jihad, Osama bin Laden,

Soon after, an Iranian-born Kurd with German citizenship named Dana Boluri told investigators that he met Gelowicz and Selek in Saudi Arabia. Gelowicz would later take part in the surveillance of US military barracks in Hanau that refocused investigators' attention on him in the months before his arrest.

Gelowicz appears to have travelled to Syria and studied Arabic in 2005, according to a certificate from a language school in Damascus included in investigators' files.

"He was possessed with the desire to launch an attack," said August Hanning
August Hanning
August Hanning is a former president of the Bundesnachrichtendienst who served from 1998 to December 2005.-References:...

, state secretary at the German Interior Ministry...A leading mind, the one with initiative, the coordinator. He possessed enormous criminal energy. Very cold-blooded and full of hatred.”

Two other suspects said to be his associates, were also arrested.


In July, two months before the arrests, Gelowicz had given an interview to the weekly Stern magazine
Stern (magazine)
Stern is a weekly news magazine published in Germany. It was founded in 1948 by Henri Nannen, and is currently published by Gruner + Jahr, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann. In the first quarter of 2006, its print run was 1.019 million copies and it reached 7.84 million readers according to...



Q: You have supposedly taken part in the surveillance of the American military barracks in Hanau in December 2006 with two acquantances.

A: The allegations naturally are absurd. I was in Frankfurt that day, this much is true. But it's incorrect that I've taken part in any kind of surveillance. We just visited someone there, that's all. Afterwards we drove around the area without any particular aim. We were just looking for a vantage point, it was New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the...

after all. We didn't find an adequate place so we drove around the block. They interpreted this as "surveillance". I didn't even know those were barracks.

Q: Did you come back as a changed man ? (about his trips to Arabia)

A: That you become radicalized there is utter nonsense. Anybody who knows their way around knows that Arabic countries are much stricter than we are. It's very dangerous to hold radical views there. For radicals there's no place in most Arabic countries. You can find them everywhere, you don't have to go to Arabia.

Q: What's life like for a so-called "endangerer"(Gefährder)?

A: I lead a normal life like any other citizen. I'm occupied with plenty of things like anybody else. But I don't feel as free as I used to.

Q: What's your vision for the German society?

A: Well, my vision is simply tolerance. People who don't interfere with anyone should be just left alone. You can expect that from Muslims but also from non-Muslims. All I'm asking is that people let me live that way.

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