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Pro-IS material found at German terror suspect's home

August 17, 2016

Police have found material glorifying the "Islamic State" at the home of a 27-year-old man arrested on terror suspicions in eastern Germany. They found no explosives, but did turn up some pyrotechnic devices.

Deutschland SEK nimmt 27-Jährigen fest in Eisenhüttenstadt
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Pleul

A man arrested in eastern Germany on Wednesday on suspicion of planning a terror attack possessed materials that could possibly indicate connections to the extremist group "Islamic State" (IS), a police official said on Thursday.

Police chief Hans-Jürgen Mörke told the mass-circulation "Bild" newspaper that officers had found "seven posters with ISIS symbols, a Soft Air Kalashnikov, a camouflage suit, a protective vest, a gas mask, 37 firecrackers with black gunpowder, some banned, and cannabis." ISIS is an alternative name for the IS group.

In comments to broadcaster RBB, Mörke added that the suspect had posted photos on the internet in which he posed with the Kalashnikov air rifle and Arabic symbols, but said there were no concrete connections to IS.

Convert to Islam

Security forces on Wednesday used sniffer dogs to search the suspect's apartment for explosives, shortly after arresting the man in Eisenhüttenstadt, which lies on the German border with Poland.

The 27-year-old German national was detained on suspicion of "planning a terror strike" with a possible Islamist connection, said Dietmar Woidke, the premier of the German state of Brandenburg.

Authorities said initially that no dangerous materials were found in the man's apartment and that suspicion over the man's alleged terrorist attacks "did not solidify."

German media reported that the suspect was a convert to Islam, and that he planned to detonate a homemade nail bomb at the city festival set to start next week. The city has a population of about 30,000 people and is home to a large center for asylum seekers.

Terror concerns grow

The man's arrest comes shortly after a string of terrorist attacks in Germany that led to calls for tightened security in the country. Two of the attacks were claimed by the so-called "Islamic State": an ax attack on a train in Würzburg committed by an Afghan refugee and a suicide bombing committed by another asylum-seeker outside a cafe in Ansbach.

Shortly after the arrest of the suspect, Eisenhüttenstadt's officials said the city's festival would continue as planned.

"The planning is still underway," a spokesperson for the city told dpa.

The festival is slated to take place from August 26 to 28.

dj/blc/sms (dpa, AFP)