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Friday 23 February 2018

Anti-terror plan produced following four attacks in Germany over week

Germany suffered four terror attacks in just a week
Germany suffered four terror attacks in just a week

Bavarian officials have presented an anti-terror plan after four attacks in Germany in a week, two of which were claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann said his state - where three of the four attacks took place - would hire 2,000 extra police officers until 2020, improve police equipment and create new offices to fight Muslim extremism and cybercrime.

He also called for tougher background checks on asylum-seekers and new strategies to deport criminal asylum-seekers more easily.

Three of the four attacks were committed by asylum-seekers.

Bavarian justice minister Winfried Bausback said at a news conference with Mr Herrmann: "The threat of Salafist terrorism has arrived in Europe, in Germany, but also in Bavaria."

The announcement of the plan was followed by the revelation that a n 18-year-old German-Iranian who killed nine people and injured 36 in Munich left a document several pages long about his psychiatric illnesses, his school situation and his neighbourhood.

Munich prosecutors and the Bavarian state criminal police office said they were still evaluating which parts of the document were fiction and which were based on reality.

The statement also said investigators were following some 1,750 tips in the case and that more than 1,000 files have been uploaded to their server.

Many bystanders shot footage on their phones as the rampage unfolded and the gunman eventually killed himself.

A uthorities also searched a room at a refugee accommodation centre in south-western Germany after a 20-year-old Syrian man allegedly boasted of having contacts with IS and said he had fought in Syria.

Prosecutors and police in Stuttgart said two mobile phones were seized in Thursday's search in the Heidenheim area and were being examined. The Syrian, who had no previous police record, was released following the search.

Authorities say there were never any indications of any possible plans for an attack.

Germany's commissioner for immigration, refugees and integration is calling on mosques across the country to be more pro-active when it comes to preventing extremism among Muslim youths.

Aydan Ozoguz said: "We need to hold mosques more responsible when it comes to prevention among teenagers."

On Wednesday night, police raided a mosque believed to be a hot spot for Islamic extremists in the city of Hildesheim. The raid did not appear to be connected to the recent attacks.


Press Association

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