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Nine arrested in Germany and Netherlands over Islamist terrorist fears

Police van in front of the German "Federal Court"

Nine people from Central Asia were arrested in Germany and the Netherlands on Thursday over alleged plans to carry out attacks in Germany and for collecting money for the Islamic State group, authorities said.

Seven men arrested in Germany were accused of founding a “domestic terrorist group” and of supporting IS, federal prosecutors said.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told journalists in Berlin that "the threat of Islamist terror remains very acute, as you can see from today's arrests.”

All had known each other for a long time, had radical Islamic views and came to Germany more or less simultaneously from Ukraine shortly after Russia launched its full-scale invasion last year, the prosecutors alleged.

A year ago, the suspects allegedly formed a group that aimed to carry out attacks in Germany.

According to prosecutors, the group was in contact with members of an IS offshoot active in and around Afghanistan, Islamic State Khorasan Province.

Its members had checked out possible targets in Germany and attempted to procure weapons, but “there was no concrete plan for an attack at the time of today's arrest," prosecutors said in a statement.

All but one of the men arrested in Germany had been collecting money for IS since April 2022 and transferring it to the group, they added.

In the Netherlands, the public prosecution service said a 29-year-old Tajik man and his 31-year-old Kyrgyz wife, who had lived in the country since last year, were arrested on suspicion of “committing preparatory acts for terrorism offences.”

The man is also suspected of membership of IS.

The arrests in Germany were made in various locations in North Rhine-Westphalia state, which borders the Netherlands.

German prosecutors identified the men arrested there as Ata A., a citizen of Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan national Abrorjon K., and five citizens of Tajikistan — Mukhammadshujo A., Nuriddin K., Shamshud N., Said S. and Raboni Z.

Their full names weren't released in line with German privacy rules.

North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister Herbert Reul said "the followers of the Islamic State apparently believed that they could go about their terrorist daywork in our country completely undisturbed. Scouting, searching for targets, procuring weapons and money, all in secrecy”.

Posted on 07 Jul 2023 07:47 link