February 11, 2021
Police officers are seen on patrol on Cologne, Germany. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
BERLIN – German and Danish authorities announced on Thursday (Feb 11) they had arrested 14 people over alleged attack plots, including three Syrian brothers accused of planning an attack with several kilos of explosive chemicals.
Denmark’s intelligence service PET, announced a total of 14 people had been arrested, including one in Germany, during a targeted operation, focusing on the Copenhagen area.
Seven of the suspects arrested in Denmark had already been remanded in custody.
PET did not provide details of the suspects, but said in a statement that seven people had been remanded in custody for having “planned one or more terror attacks or having participated in attempted terror acts”.
More specificially, the arrested were suspected of having “gathered ingredients and components for the manufacture of explosive materials, as well as weapons or having helped”.
The other six were also connected to the same case and would go before a court on Thursday, which would decide if they could also be kept in custody.
“It is still PET’s assessment that the terror threat against Denmark is serious, and that this concrete matter does not change this assessment,” the intelligence service said in the statement.
Meanwhile, German prosecutors offered more details into three of the suspects, who were brothers from Syria.
The Syrian men aged 33, 36 and 40 were charged with planning a serious act of violence endangering the state, according to prosecutors in the town of Naumburg in Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt state.
“In January of this year, they are alleged to have been involved in the purchase of several kilogrammes of chemicals that can be used to manufacture explosive devices,” they said.
Two of the suspects were arrested in the Danish operation, where the chemicals were also seized, while the third was arrested in the German state of Hesse.
Police also seized 10 kilogrammes of gunpowder and fuses at an address in the town of Dessau in Saxony-Anhalt, the prosecutors said.
The three men are brothers, according to a report in Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly, which also said police found an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag at the Dessau address.
The chemicals – sulphur and aluminium powder – had been ordered by the 33-year-old from Denmark to be delivered to the address of his 36-year-old brother in Dessau, Der Spiegel said.
The 36-year-old was not found at his address but police also found more ISIS propaganda, it said.
People with ties to ISIS have committed several violent attacks in Germany in recent years, with the worst a ramming attack at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12.
Since 2013, the number of Islamists considered dangerous in Germany has increased fivefold to 615, according to security services.