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Boston bombing-style attack foiled at German cycling race


Police at the scene in Germany

Police at the scene in Germany

Police at the scene in Germany

German authorities foiled what they believe may have been an imminent Boston Marathon-style attack on a professional cycling race planned for today, seizing a cache of weapons, including a pipe bomb, and chemicals that can be used to make explosives, in a raid on a suspected Islamic extremist's home outside Frankfurt.

Authorities detained a 35-year-old Turkish-German man and his 34-year-old Turkish wife in the raid in the town of Oberursel.

Security officials were worried that the couple may have been targeting the one-day Eschborn to Frankfurt race, which draws around 200 professional riders and thousands of spectators on the May Day public holiday. Police said the race would be cancelled in case the couple had accomplices, or they placed as-yet undetected explosive devices along the route.

Suspicions were heightened when police recently observed the male suspect, a trained chemist, apparently scouting out the area where the race was due to take place.

"The result of the raid shows that our suspicions were confirmed," police said.

Authorities in Germany have long warned that the country is at high risk of an attack after being named as a target by extremists, including some who have joined the Islamic State group.

In the Boston Marathon attack, three people were killed.