Berlin police arrest two men in foiled bomb terror plot | German News | DW | 09.09.2011
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German News

Berlin police arrest two men in foiled bomb terror plot

Two men have been arrested in Berlin in connection with plotting to carry out a bomb attack. Police had been watching the men for several months, ever since they bought a suspicious amount of chemicals.

Police stand guard outside Islamic cultural center

An Islamic cultural center was searched as part of the raid

Police in Berlin are holding a 24-year-old German man with a Lebanese background and a 28-year-old man from the Gaza Strip on "suspicion of planning a serious act of violence."

According to police, the two men were planning a bomb attack and had ordered chemicals which could have been used to make an explosive device.

As part of the investigation, which police said has been underway for some time, a mosque, an Islamic cultural center and the apartments of the two suspects were searched.

The mosque and cultural center were searched because the two men had spent significant time there, sometimes spending the night in the mosque. However, police were clear to state that the mosque and cultural center were not a part of the ongoing investigation.

'No specific targets'

Police spokesman Martin Otte said the probe began when the firms where the chemicals were ordered reported the suspicious purchases to police. The men had not yet started building a bomb.

Police stand outside the Al-Rahman mosque in Berlin

The two men reportedly often spent the night at a mosque

Otte declined to comment on a possible link to the September 11 anniversary, or the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Germany.

"For the moment, our investigation hasn't produced any evidence that an attack was planned to take place at either of the two events," said Otte.

According to the Federal Criminal Police Agency, this is the 10th terror attempt in Germany since the 9/11 attacks on the US in 2001.

Wolfgang Bosbach, domestic security expert in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat party, said the new attempt is no reason to be overly alarmed.

"We know that Germany is a target for terrorists, and that terror suspects from this country have been travelling to the Afghan-Pakistan border region for training. So this is worrying, but no reason to panic," he said.

The security level in Germany remains unchanged and it's thought the two men do not have links to any known terror groups.

Author: Matt Zuvela, Catherine Bolsover (dpa, dapd, AFP)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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