The ringleader of a German-based radical Islamist group, thought to be planning a series of terrorist attacks on discos, airports and US installations in the country, has been released from jail early, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Named under German privacy laws as Fritz G, the 36-year-old has been released after serving more than two thirds of a 12-year sentence following favourable reports on his prospects from two experts, his lawyer Dirk Uden said in a statement on his webpage.
Munich-born G, who converted to Islam as a teenager, is to serve the rest of his sentence on probation under strict conditions, Uden said.
Raised in a middle class family, G was a member of the so-called Sauerland terror cell, which was affiliated with the Islamic Jihad Union – a group based on the Afghan-Pakistan border with links to both the Taliban and al-Qaida.
A one-time engineering student, G grew up in the conservative southwestern state of Baden Wuerttemburg and married a German-Turkish woman in 2007.
He met two other members of the Sauerland group – another convert to Islam Daniel S and Turkish-born Adem Y - at an Islamic Jihad Union training camp in Pakistan.
While Y was sentenced to 11 years in jail, Daniel S received a 12-year prison term for their roles in the terror attack plans.
The three, who were believed to be targeting the US's Ramstein Air Base and Frankfurt airport, were arrested in Germany in 2007.
Since then, G had made extensive disclosures about the Islamic Jihad Union as well as renouncing violence, his lawyer said.
Uden said G's main focus now was his family and to complete his studies.