German police have arrested ten Islamists on suspicion of planning terror attacks. The suspects were plotting car ramming attacks and mass shootings with the aim to “kill as many ‘non-believers’ as possible,” the prosecutors in the city of Frankfurt said.
“They had already made contact with different arms dealers, rented a large vehicle and collected financial assets to use for the purchase of guns and the execution of the planned murders,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Most of the suspects were based in and around Frankfurt, a major stronghold for Islamists in Germany. According to German intelligence services, the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, is home to some 4,170 Islamists. At least 1,650 of them have been classified as extremely dangerous by the authorities.
This is the second major anti-terror raid of its kind in the region. Last month, police raided 15 homes belonging to Islamists in southern Hesse. The investigations were focused on 15 men and women linked to the Islamic State, the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau reported.
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle covered the details of the latest counter-terrorism raid:
Prosecutors in Frankfurt issued a statement on Friday to say the suspects were detained in police raids involving 200 officers in the Frankfurt region earlier in the day.
Commenting on the raids, Hesse state interior minister Peter Beuth said: “Police intervened in a timely manner to prevent possible attack plans at an early stage.”
There were no details on the nationalities of the suspects, whose ages were given at between 20 and 42 years. They live in the Frankfurt, Offenbach, Wiesbaden and Mainz areas. Eleven people were initially arrested but the investigation was centered on ten suspects.
The main suspects were a 21-year old man from Offenbach and two 31-year-old brothers from Wiesbaden, all associated with the local Islamist Salafist community. All are German citizens. (…)
According to the initial investigation, the accused were planning to use a vehicle and firearms to kill as many “unbelievers” as possible. They had rented a large vehicle, made contact with weapons dealers, and started to raise funds. (…)
The charges include funding terrorism and conspiring to commit a crime. The accused are due to appear before a judge at the District Court of Frankfurt on Friday afternoon.
Some 1,000 German nationals are known to have traveled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State. Of these, over 300 have returned to the country. So far, only a handful of these returnees have faced any kind of detention, let alone prosecution for their war crimes in Iraq and Syria, German media reports disclose. With the military defeat of the Islamic Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, battle-trained ISIS terrorists will inevitably melt with the migrant influx and bring their jihad to Germany and the West.