Six IS-linked Syrians detained in Germany after 500 police raid apartments

Cheryl Sanders
November 23, 2017

The suspects, aged 20 to 28, were detained in dawn raids that saw some 500 police officers swoop on residences in the cities of Kassel, Essen, Hanover and Leipzig.

The Syrians were released without charge on Wednesday after initial investigations found no "sufficient evidence of a terror plot", the Frankfurt prosecutor's office said.

"[The six Syrians] are suspected of being members of the foreign terrorist organizations that calls itself Islamic State", the prosecutor's statement read.

Earlier this year a man who had had an asylum claim rejected by Germany stabbed one person to death at a supermarket and injured six others in a suspected militant assault.

The arrests are the second time this month Syrians have been detained on suspicion of planning a terror attack in the country.

The suspect had pledged allegiance to the IS in a video posted hours before the attack.

Despite not finding evidence of actual IS membership, officials discovered "references" to the jihadist militia and information suggesting that the group may have considered scenarios for terror attacks.

The arrests come little less than a year after a successful attack on German soil against a Christmas market by Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri, who drove a hijacked lorry into a Christmas market, killing 12 - including the Polish truck driver who Amri killed while stealing the vehicle.

Following the attack, Christmas markets across Europe were placed under heavy security with rifle-carrying police officers patrolling between heavy concrete barriers, deployed to prevent the unwanted incursion of vehicles into the spaces.

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