Three Syrian nationals, two of whom had allegedly travelled to Germany posing as refugees, have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack on the historic centre of Düsseldorf city.
German federal prosecutors confirmed three Syrian nationals had been arrested and their homes searched: 25-year-old Mahood B., 27-year-old Hamza C. and 31-year-old Abd Arahman A.K, according to The Local, a site which gives news in English about Germany.
A further warrant was issued for a 25-year-old Syrian, Saleh A., currently under arrest in France, The Local said.
German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the alleged Syrian jihadists posed as migrants and travelled the Balkan migrant route to enter Germany and plot the attack.
The target of the attack is alleged to have been the Burgplatz in Düsseldorf’s historic city centre – a precinct popular with tourists.
According to The Local, prosecutors allege that the plan called for two suicide bombers to blow themselves up on Heinrich-Heine-Allee, a broad street with a number of major public transport stations. Other attackers were then meant to kill passers-by with guns and explosives.
Two of the suspects are said to have travelled to Germany via the Balkans, where they met with a third Syrian, 31-year-old Abd Arahman A. K., an explosives expert sent to Germany by Islamist terror group Isis in October 2014.
Before the atrocity could be carried out, Saleh A. gave himself up to French security authorities on 1 February 2016, reports say.
The US State department last week issued a travel advisory alert for the whole of Europe, covering the entire Northern Hemisphere summer travel season, until the end of August. See: ‘Beware of Europe travel’ says US, but no specifics
The US advisory named as a potential terrorist target the European Soccer Championship, which kicks off in France next week and is set to run for a month (until 10 July 2016) but German prosecutors stressed that the arrests were not related to that.
Written by Peter Needham