Berlin IS terror suspect identified German capital′s landmarks as targets | News | DW | 10.11.2016
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Berlin IS terror suspect identified German capital's landmarks as targets

Germany's Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has released new details surrounding the arrest of a suspected "Islamic State" (IS) militant. The Syrian teenager allegedly highlighted the Brandenburg Gate as a potential target.

Details surrounding the arrest of a suspected so-called "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist in Berlin were released on Thursday, following the Federal Court of Justice's (BGH) decision to extend the man's investigation by three months.

The 19-year-old Syrian allegedly identified the capital's tourist trap Alexanderplatz, the Brandenburg Gate, and the area around the Reichstag - Germany's parliamentary building - as targets for an IS attack.

The man is said to have then reported his findings to a contact back in his home county in February. Information included how many people and buses were present at different times of the day.

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate is believed to have been marked as a potential target

He was arrested a month later, and charged in October on account of being an IS member.

At the time, the man was known to have fought in Syria and to have found potential targets for terror attacks in Berlin. It wasn't  known, however, specifically where. He is also accused of being a contact person for potential attackers. According to the BGH'S decision, the suspected terrorist also offered "to commit an IS attack in Germany himself with two unknown people."

The man arrived in Germany as an asylum seeker in summer 2015. The court hearing is due to be held in Berlin.

High alert

Germany has remained on high alert for possible IS-inspired operations since last year's Paris terror attacks, as well as a series of others to hit the continent, including in Nice and Brussels. IS also claimed responsibility for two attacks carried out in southern Germany during the summer.

Berlin police last week arrested another Syrian man on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack, but the BGH did not find enough evidence to detain him on terror charges. Twenty-seven-year-old Ashraf Al-T. remains in custody, however, on charges of falsifying documents.

Just last month bomb plot suspect, Jaber A., was also detained in the nearby eastern city of Leipzig after police found explosives in his Chemnitz apartment. The 22-year-old, who had planned to bomb a Berlin airport, hanged himself in his cell. An investigation into his death is still ongoing.

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