News

Two suspects in Syria plot nabbed

Germany

Scores of German police raided alleged terrorist sites in Berlin early yesterday, arresting two men suspected of being part of a group planning to carry out an attack in Syria, police said.

Around 250 police officers carried out the raids on 11 sites in the German capital, arresting the men, who are of Turkish origin, said the police.

One of the men, identified as Ismet D., 41, 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.

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

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

The raids came just hours after two men were killed in a big police raid on suspected terrorists in Belgium, and a week after terrorist attacks in Paris claimed 17 lives.

On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to heighten security measures against Islamist militants and also said that Germany would not be divided by extremism of any kind.

She said in a speech to Parliament: "Hate preachers, violent delinquents who act in the name of Islam, those behind them, and the intellectual arsonists of international terrorism will be rigorously fought with all legal means at the disposal of the state."