Three Syrians arrested in Germany over 'ISIS attack plan'

Three Syrian men have been arrested in Germany over an alleged plan to launch a suicide attack

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Three Syrian men have been arrested in Germany over an alleged plan to launch a suicide attack there for the ISIS militant group, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

According to the suspects’ plan, two attackers were to detonate suicide vests while the others were to kill passersby with guns and explosives in the western city of Duesseldorf, prosecutors said in a statement.

The suspects were identified as 27-year-old Hamza C., 25-year-old Mahood B., and Abd Arahman A. K., 31, who were arrested in the states of Brandenburg near Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Wurttemberg.

A fourth Syrian man, Saleh A., 25, had been in custody in France since turning himself in in February, they said, and Germany had now requested his extradition.

“According to current investigations, the four accused were planning to commit an attack in Germany for the foreign terrorist organisation ISIS,” said the prosecutors.

Saleh A. and Hamza C. had joined IS in early 2014 in Syria, where “they were ordered by the group’s leadership to carry out an attack in the old town of Duesseldorf”.

“Two suicide attackers were to set off their explosives vests at the Heinrich-Heine-Allee, a major street in Duesseldorf,” the prosecutors said in the statement.

“After that, other attackers were to kill as many passersby as possible with guns and other explosives.”

Saleh A. and Hamza C. had crossed from Syria to Turkey in May 2014. From there they travelled separately in March and July last year via Greece to Germany.

Abd Arahman A. K. had already arrived in Germany in October 2014 “on the orders of the IS leadership”, tasked with manufacturing the suicide vests, said the statement.

By January this year, Saleh A. and Hamza C. had convinced Mahood B. to join in the attack.

The prosecutors added that there was no evidence “that the accused had already initiated the concrete implementation of their attack plan”.

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