Police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia say they thwarted a terror attack this week, arresting six radical Islamic extremists in their homes.
The raids occurred on Thursday and saw officers from the city of Cologne and the city of Düren arrest the six men, one of who –, a 30-year-old Lebanese-German — is said to have been a part of Berlin’s radical extremist Salafist scene, Deutsche Welle reports.
“We had up-to-date covert knowledge that an attack could be imminent,” said Klaus-Stephan Becker, who heads the Criminal Division in Cologne.
According to police, the 30-year-old suspect had previously attempted to make contact with members of the Islamic State terror group by travelling to land that had formerly been occupied by the organisation. He is said to have attempted the journey on several occasions.
Another suspect, a 21-year-old man, is said to have declared loyalty to the Islamic State in the past and was reported to have a “considerable affinity for guns.”
The raids were primarily focused on six apartments in Düren but also on a construction site in Cologne after officials say they received a tip.
Three Iraqis Arrested in Germany on Bomb Plot Suspicion https://t.co/UmYFsx5L64
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 30, 2019
The arrests are not the first alleged terror plots foiled by the German authorities this year. In March, 11 individuals were arrested in Berlin, accused of plotting a terror attack using firearms and a vehicle.
The suspects, all German citizens aged between 20 and 42, had rented a vehicle and contacted known weapons dealers prior to their arrest.
In January, three Iraqi migrants were arrested in Dithmarschen in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, where they were allegedly attempting to use fireworks and a detonator they had ordered from the United Kingdom to build an explosive device.
Last month, Tunisian migrant Sief Allah H., along with his wife Yasmin, faced charges of plotting a terror attack with the deadly biological compound ricin after being arrested last year for possession 84 milligrams of the substance in their apartment in Cologne.
Islamist Tunisian Migrant Arrested in Cologne Prepared Deadly Ricin ‘Biological Bomb’ For Terror Attack https://t.co/FZmQz8dOQ5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 21, 2018