German police raid ‘Islamists’ suspected of planning attack

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Prosecutors in Berlin said that the suspects are believed to have staked out locations for a future “Islamist-motivated” attack. Evidence gathered so far does not indicate that there were any concrete attack plans.

Police carried out raids at properties across four German states on Tuesday morning, targeting suspected Islamists who were believed to be “planning a serious violent act endangering the state.”
Prosecutors in Berlin said the suspects were of “Chechen origin from the Islamist scene.”
The raids took place in the capital Berlin as well as the eastern states of Brandenburg and Thuringia and in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The suspects involved are between 23 to 28-years-old, authorities said in a statement after the raids concluded. The statement did not say how many people had been detained or questioned by police.
Staking out location
Investigators said the suspects were accused of staking out locations to later carry out an “Islamist-motivated” attack, but added that there were no indications that there were any concrete attack plans.
“The searches today should help to bring clarity to their real motives,” Berlin authorities said in a statement.
Officers secured cash, knives and data storage devices in the raids, which involved around 180 officers.
Authorities were prompted to carry out the raids after discovering suspicious pictures on the cellphone of one suspect who was stopped during a police check.
On alert for attack threats
German authorities have been on high alert since a rejected asylum-seeker drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016, killing 12 people.
Since the attack, German authorities say they’ve thwarted nine planned attacks believed to have radical Islamist motives.
In November, authorities in the western city of Offenbach arrested three men for allegedly planning to carry out a bomb attack in the name of the militant Islamic State group.
rs/rt (dpa, AP, AFP)
DW

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