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Germany

Terrorist Suspects Surrender After 19 Years

Almost two decades after going on the run, a pair of left-wing terror suspects have handed themselves in to authorities in Karlruhe. They are suspected of membership of the 'Revolutionary Cells', a group held responsible for at least 295 attacks between 1973 and 1995. They have been bailed and are yet to be charged.

The two terror suspects could face prison just as others are hoping to get released

Federal prosecutors confirmed Sunday that two suspected members of a German left-wing militant group which took part in some of the most notorious hostage dramas of the 1970s have surrendered to authorities after 19 years on the run.

Federal state prosecutors in Karlsruhe made the statement after a report in Der Spiegel magazine that the pair, who surrendered to police in December, are suspected members of the group "Revolutionary Cells."

The Revolutionary Cells emerged in the 1970s from the extreme movements which also spawned the better-known Red Army Faction (RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang. According to the Web site of the Interior Ministry of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Revolutionary Cells was responsible for at least 295 attacks between 1973 and 1995.

No details confirmed

Group members helped Carlos the Jackal take ministers hostage at an OPEC conference in Vienna in 1975. Two were killed in July 1976 when an Air France plane they helped hijack was stormed by Israeli special forces in Entebbe, Uganda.

Monday's edition of the Berlin daily die tageszeitung said the suspects were a man and woman, both aged 58, who allegedly helped to plot a big sabotage operation in Berlin in 1986. A spokesman for federal prosecutors declined to give the sexes of the suspects.

The two were given a conditional release from custody but were likely to be charged with belonging to a terrorist organization, the spokesman added.

RAF terrorists want release

News of the surrender come as two RAF terrorists, Brigitte Mohnhaupt and Christian Klar, hope to be released from prison after 24 years behind bars. Mohnhaupt could be paroled as early as March and Klar has appealed to German President Horst Köhler for clemency.

The potential release of the two former RAF terrorists has sparked a heated debate in Germany over whether they should be allowed to get out of prison if they do not show remorse.

DW.DE