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German police release terrorist suspects

Police in Berlin have released three men taken into custody under suspicion of plotting attacks in Germany. They had been detained during a series of raids starting on Thursday.

According to media reports, police had suspected that two of the men were planning to transport explosives from Munich for a possible attack on the western city of Dortmund. Police had reportedly

found a "suspicious object" in a vehicle

belonging to the men, but later said that they found no evidence of explosives in the car.

The German newspaper "Tagesspiegel" reported also that the two men, a 28-year-old Syrian and a 46-year old Tunisian, had links to the "Islamic State."

However, they were allowed to walk free on Friday after police said they had found no evidence of explosives in the car or in the nearby Charlottenburg mosque where they were apprehended during a raid.

Muslim group complains

In a press release, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD) said the mosque search was a disproportionate response by police and welcomed the apology issued by the Berlin police as a result of their complaint.

The ZMD stressed that police should look for terrorists, not Muslims in general and that the Charlottenburg mosque had done "exemplary work in the community and for intergation."

Meanwhile, the DPA news agency reported that a third suspect detained early on Friday has been released. Police have disclosed no information about his identity.

Authorities in the German capital went on to say that no attack was in the works for Berlin, and that they did not "want to comment about the security situation in other German states," according to the city's police commissioner Klaus Kandt.

German security forces have remained on

high-alert

since the terrorist attacks in Paris were carried exactly two weeks ago. The Berlin city senate approved a bill last week that would increase the presence of security forces in the capital.

The government believes Germany is a probable terrorist target, a feeling likely only to intensify as it

ramps up its efforts

in combating the "Islamic State."

jtm/kms (AP, dpa)

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