Three Syrians arrested in Germany over suspected Islamic State terror plot
Published 02/06/2016 | 13:36
Three Syrian men suspected of planning an attack in Dusseldorf for the Islamic State group have been arrested in Germany.
Prosecutors say a fourth suspect, who informed officials in Paris about the plot, is already in custody in France.
The federal prosecutor's office said the three men were arrested in three different German states on Thursday.
It said the plan called for two suicide attackers to blow themselves up in central Dusseldorf and then for further attackers to kill as many people as possible with firearms and explosives.
However, it says there are no indications that they had started with concrete preparations, and the plot was thwarted when one of the plotters went to French prosecutors on February 1 with details of the plan.
The three men arrested in Germany were identified as Hamza C, 27; Mahood B, 25; and Abd Arahman AK, 31. The suspect in custody in France was identified as Saleh A, 25, also from Syria.
Prosecutors said that Saleh A and Hamza C joined IS in Syria in 2014 and got instructions from the group's leadership to carry out an attack in Dusseldorf.
The two travelled to Turkey in May 2014 with IS approval, they added. In March and July 2015, they travelled separately via Greece to Germany.
The pair convinced Mahood B to join the plot at some point before January this year, prosecutors said.
Also in January, Saleh A contacted Abd Arahman AK, who had travelled to Germany in October 2014 with instructions from IS to take part in the attack. According to prosecutors, Abd Arahman AK - who previously made suicide vests and grenades for the extremist Nusra Front group in Syria - was supposed to make the suicide vests.
Prosecutors said that they will seek the extradition of Saleh A.
Prosecutors stressed that the arrests are not related to Euro 2016, which kicks off in France next week.
Germany has so far been spared mass-casualty attacks by Islamic extremists of the type seen in France and Belgium over recent months.