Large-Scale Raids in Germany: Six “Refugee” ISIS Fighters Arrested For Preparing Attack on Christmas Market
by Egri Nök
Update, 5PM CET:
According to Focus, they have learnt from investigator circles that the arrested suspects were photographing rubbish bins, installed at hip height, on Kennedyplatz, where the Christmas Market will open soon. Investigators think this means the suspects intended to plant explosive devices in the rubbish bins. The suspects were also scouting the Limbecker Platz shopping mall and the nearby Rathaus-Galerie mall.
According to Hessenschau, data storage devices, mobile phones and laptops, and documents were seized. The investigators also found city maps of Essen with the Christmas Market location marked.
For the original article please scroll down.
An original translation from Focus:
Large-Scale Raid! ISIS terror suspects apparently planned attack on Christmas Market Essen
Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 1:59 PM CET
During large-scale raids in several German states on Tuesday, six alleged members of the Jihadist militia Islamic State were arrested. They are suspected of preparing “an attack with weapons or explosives on a public target in Germany”, the General Prosecution Frankfurt announced.
The suspects accordingly planned an attack on the Christmas Market Essen, Hessische Rundfunk learned from sources among the investigators. The plans for the attack were not yet completed. According to Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger they probably planned an attack on a shopping mall in Essen.
As the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (Wednesday edition) learned from sources among the investigators, one of the men, a 20-year-old asylum seeker, together with other persons, was taking photographs of the shopping centre Limbecker Platz, Essen not long ago. The men pretended they were students of architecture. While they carried out this operation, they were allegedly already being observed by the authorities. The investigators became suspicious, as back in March there was a terror threat to this shopping centre in downtown Essen. It remained closed for several days. It is still not clear who was behind the threat.
This information is yet to be officially confirmed.
Police arrest six Syrians
The investigations concern six Syrians between 20 and 28 years old. Four of them have been in Germany since December 2014, and two came as asylum seekers in the late summer of 2015.
They are suspected of being members of a foreign terrorist organization and of preparing a grave subversive act of violence.
At the early Tuesday morning raid, 500 officers of the Hessian Land Office of Criminal Investigations and other police stations searched eight apartments in Kassel, Hannover, Essen and Leipzig. The authorities declined to specify more details.
Suspects entered Germany as Refugees
Welt first reported about the anti terror-raid in several German states. Accordingly, hints by refugees led the investigators on the tracks of the six men. They had come, using false identities, as civil war refugees to Germany.
The witnesses stated that the men had been fighting for the terror militia Islamic State in Syria. Investigations showed that the men had contact with each other and had radical-Islamic convictions, says the report.