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Germany: 3 teens held over suspected Islamist attack plans

April 12, 2024

Three teenagers have been detained on suspicion of planning an attack motivated by Islamist extremism. The teenagers reportedly glorified the "Islamic State" and intended to attack Christian worshippers and police.

A symbol photo of a blue light from a police car
Three teenagers have been detained, suspected of planning a terrorist attackImage: A. Friedrichs/IMAGO

Three teenagers who are suspected of having planned an Islamist terrorist attack are currently in custody, German prosecutors said Friday. 

According to the prosecutors, the detained teenagers — two girls aged 15 and 16 and a 15-year-old boy — had "declared themselves ready" to carry out the attack.

All three come from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The arrest warrants for the teenagers were issued over the Easter weekend, officials say.

A fourth suspect has now reportedly been identified in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg. A  court there has also issued an arrest warrant.

Teenagers reportedly glorified 'Islamic State' 

Germany's mass-circulation Bild daily reported that the detainees are said to glorify the jihadi terrorist group "Islamic State" (IS) and that the plan involved attacking worshippers in churches and police at police stations with knives and Molotov cocktails.

 Surces said that the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne were discussed as possible locations for an attack.

Officials said that the teenagers had formed a chat group. Although no concrete plan to attack at a particular time or place existed, investigators "certainly saw the danger" and had carried out searches, they said.

During a search in Düsseldorf, a machete and a dagger were seized. However, there was no evidence that any kind of explosive or incendiary device had been constructed, according to the sources.

The father of the suspect from Düsseldorf had come to the attention of authorities in the past because he was suspected of collecting money for IS, the sources said.
Germany is currently on high alert for Islamist attacks amid the Israel-Hamas war. The recent Moscow terror attack, claimed by ISIS-K, has also heightened European security fears in Germany and neighboring countries like France.

Islamist extremists have carried out several attacks in Germany in recent years. The deadliest was when a truck rammed a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016, killing 12 people.

tj/wd (AFP, dpa)

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