Stunning news from Expatica's German edition (bolds are mine; because of its brevity, the entire report is included here):
Germans say al-Qaeda no longer organizing strikes
18 May 2006
DUESSELDORF - Al-Qaeda's hierarchy in western Europe has vanished and the terrorist network's leadership has largely ceased direct management of attacks, a senior German police intelligence officer told a trial court this week.
She said the al-Qaeda leadership now mainly relied on video and internet proclamations to inspire Islamists in the western world to act on their own.
Germany's BKA federal crime agency had no evidence of Islamists swearing an oath of loyalty to Osama bin Laden since 2001 to become al-Qaeda members. The only terrorist to have done so since that date was Abu-Musab al-Sarqawi, the Jordanian who mounts attacks in Iraq.
She said a hierarchically organized al-Qaeda network in western Europe no longer existed.
The police officer, who investigates Islamist threats, was testifying at the trial in Dusseldorf of three Arab men accused of terrorism on behalf of al-Qaeda and an insurance scam aimed at raising funds for suicide attacks in Iraq.
Prosecutors say they also tried to obtain nuclear material for a "dirty bomb". The three were arrested before they could act.
This will of course be a story that will require four levels of corroboration and every available fact-checker before it is by reported the wire services or the major US newspapers, just like that USA Today story on the NSA using phone company call records..... oh, never mind.
If this Expatica report is true, do you think we'll get a thank-you note from Jacques Chirac?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.