Two arrested as German police raid Islamists in Berlin

German police officers arrest an alleged leader of a group planning to carry out an attack in Syria

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More than 200 German police officers raided suspected Islamist cells in and around Berlin early on Friday, arresting an alleged leader of a group planning to carry out an attack in Syria, police said.

Police reportedly arrested two men Friday morning on suspicion of recruiting fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group, the Associated Press said.

They arrested a 41-year-old man of Turkish origin and is suspected of "leading an Islamist extremist group made up of Turkish and Russian nationals from (the Caucasus regions' of) Chechnya and Dagestan," the police said in a statement carried by Agence France Presse.

"There is no indication that the group was preparing attacks inside Germany," the statement added.

The other man, identified as Emin F., 43, is suspected of organising the financing, the statement said, adding there was "no indication that the group planned attacks inside Germany".

The two men were part of a group of five people, all of Turkish origin, who had been under investigation by police and prosecutors for several months, they added.

The were under suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence in Syria and money laundering.

The German raids came just hours after two suspected Islamists were killed in a massive police raid on suspected jihadists in Belgium and a week after Islamist attacks in Paris claimed 17 lives.

[with Agencies]

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