Police in Germany have arrested two asylum seekers and raided several homes and other properties of people suspected to have links with the Islamic State terror group.
Authorities in the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) region of Germany announced another arrest of an asylum seeker who they claim has links to the Islamic State. The arrest comes after a migrant was arrested on Friday, also an asylum seeker who, along with the first migrant is suspected of being part of a radical Islamic terrorist cell with plans to commit acts of terror in the region.
While police have not confirmed details of the potential terror attacks planned, they have said that both migrants were working together, reports Sachsische Zeitung.
The arrest of the second asylum seeker was announced on Wednesday and is said to have taken place in the town of Dinslaken near Essen. Essen was the site of an act of terrorism earlier this year when two young teenage Muslims bombed a Sikh temple, injuring three people. The case was ruled not to have been an act of terrorism by a district court despite the links that the suspects had to Salafist groups.
The first man arrested by police on Friday is said to be a 24-year-old asylum seeker from a currently unknown background. The 24-year-old had previously lived in an asylum home in the town of Mutterstadt just outside of the city of Mannheim. The asylum seeker came to police attention after a witness had tipped them off. The police claim that the witness provided them with evidence that the migrant was actively plotting an act of terrorism.
Reports persist that both suspects lived together in the asylum home in Mutterstadt, though currently prosecutors are tight-lipped over the details of the two arrests. Police released a statement to the press indicating that further details could not be provided due to the nature of the active investigation into the pair.
Several properties have also been raided by the NRW police and their counterparts in Lower Saxony over potential links to Islamic State. The raids, which were instigated by the NRW attorney general, took place in Dortmund, Duisberg, and Hildesheim.
According to witness reports the police searched several locations including a Turkish-named travel agency in Duisberg that some media have reported may have had links to the bombing of the Sikh temple in Essen. The owner has since disputed claims that he has had any contact with the pair of young Salafists. According to the attorney general, no arrests were made following the raids.