Germany Nabs Group Planning to Attack El Al Flight

BERLIN - German police arrested six Muslims over the weekend on suspicion of planning to blow up an El Al aircraft upon take-off from a Frankfurt airport, German security officials told the German paper Die Welt.

The six allegedly contacted an airport worker last summer whom they planned to bribe to bring an explosive charge disguised as a suitcase on the flight. The German prosecution announced the arrest yesterday, but refused to reveal the details of the plan.

The prosecution said the plan was foiled after the six were unable to agree on the amount of money to pay the worker.

El Al Israel Airlines said it knew nothing of the plot except what had been published in the German press. El Al's Frankfurt office said it did not wish to comment on security matters. However, a source said El Al had not been involved in thwarting the plot at the Frankfurt airport, during either security checks or passenger check-in.

The police said the group was working for an undisclosed terrorist organization. Five of the suspects were released yesterday after 24 hours in lockup.