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German police arrest three terror suspects

April 13, 2018

Three Syrian men have been detained in the German state of Saarland on suspicion of terrorist links. Two are thought to have been members of the jihadi group "Islamic State" in Syria.

German riot police officer seen from behind
Image: picture alliance/dpa/P. Zinken

Three Syrians have been arrested in the western German state of Saarland after half a year of investigations into their suspected links to terrorist groups, police and state prosecutors said on Friday.

Investigators say one of the detainees had tried to recruit fighters from Germany via the internet to take part in the civil war as members of the banned extremist group Ahrar al-Sham. The group belongs to the Salafist scene and wants to establish an Islamic state in Syria based on Sharia law. The others were said to have been members of the terrorist group "Islamic State" (IS) in Syria.

Read more: What is the Ahrar Al-Sham organization in Syria?

Two of the men are on a list of those people German police consider to be a terrorist threat.

Investigators said, however, that there was no information of any concrete plans for an attack.

Read more: Germany's domestic intelligence agency warns of IS sympathizers

What next for 'Islamic State'?

Looking at evidence

Officials said police secured large amounts of evidence in connection with the arrests, including mobile phones and computers.

The three men, who all live in the Saarlouis region, came to Germany in 2015 as refugees from Syria's civil war and applied for asylum.

The investigations into the men were triggered by an employee of a refugee center outside Saarland who reported having seen a video in which one of the men was seen with hand grenades and other combat weapons while dressed in a combat uniform.

tj/rt (AFP, dpa)

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