Preparations for an Islamist attack were thwarted in Germany, in the wake of the mosque shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Police arrested several Salafists who allegedly being planning the terrorist attack. They were caught on Friday after anti-terrorist raids were conducted in Hesse and in Rhineland-Palatinate. The main suspects are a 21-year-old from Offenbach and two 31-year-old brothers from Wiesbaden.
According to recent findings, they had “jointly arranged to commit an Islamist-terrorist motivated attack using a vehicle and firearms and kill as many ‘infidels’ [non-believers] as possible,” a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor announced.
The suspects’ nationalities have not been released, but according to an official statement, several are “German citizens” aged between 20 and 42. At least three of the suspects are closely associated with the local Islamist-Salafist community.
Some 200 officers participated in the police raids against the suspects who intended to carry out the armed terror attack, Frankfurt authorities reported.
“To prepare the attack, they had already made contact with different arms dealers, rented a large vehicle and collected financial assets to use for the purchase of guns and the execution of the planned murders.”
Some of the items seized from the raid include 20 000 euros in cash, knives, small amounts of drugs, documents, and electronic devices.
Interior Minister Peter Beuth praised authorities’ timing of the arrests. “Police intervened in a timely manner to prevent possible attack plans at an early stage.”
Dr Gottfried Curio, the domestic spokesman for the AFD parliamentary group, spoke in Treptow-Köpenick on Tuesday, addressing the core issue of internal security.
Curio noted that overburdened administrative court in Düsseldorf recently “complained” about the workload: “We are in the middle of autumn 2015.” Because of the high number of asylum claims to be processed, it will take years to complete. At the end of 2018, 60 percent of all open cases were still pending.
Almost every second procedure takes more than a year to complete and many judges have voiced “fundamental criticism” of the German refugee policy: “Our work often ends up in the wastepaper basket.”
Only approximately 16 percent of the asylum claims are completely or partially successful, while rejected asylum seekers are only rarely be deported and illegally left to roam around in the country.
And although there is largely peace in Syria, many Syrians continue to apply for asylum, Curio pointed out.