Six Held Over ISIS Plot To Launch Terror Attacks On Christmas Markets
Six Syrian men with potential ties to ISIS have been arrested in separate raids across the German towns of Kassel, Hannover, Essen and Leipzig. The accused planned to launch coordinated terror attacks on Christmas markets using weapons and explosives, according to report by the Express.
The raids were carried out by 500 officers at dawn at eight different addresses after the police received a tip-off from fellow refugees. Mobile phones, laptops, SIM cards and other items were recovered from the apartments, although it is not yet clear if any explosive materials were found.
According to police, the suspects have been identified and are aged between 20 and 28. They came to Germany as asylum-seekers between December 2014 and September 2015, but some reports say that they had entered the country with fake IDs after fighting for ISIS in Syria.
The accused planned to attack on December 19, which is the anniversary of the Christmas market attack in Berlin. ISIS follower Anis Amri had killed 12 people and injured 56 in Breitscheidplatz when he rammed his lorry into shoppers at the city centre.
Local authorities across Europe have beefed up security in anticipation of another deadly attacks on crowded festival markets Event venues will have armed police officers patrolling the area, while cement and metal barricades, and metal detectors will also be set up.
Americans travelling to Europe during that time have been warned to display caution and alertness. A US State Department warning says: “Widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the UK, Spain, and Finland demonstrate that ISIS and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe. Last year, mass casualty attacks occurred at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany in December and a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey on New Year’s Eve.”
“US citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathisers or self-radicalised extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.”
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