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Germany detains two IS suspects over Swedish attack plan

March 19, 2024

German police have arrested two suspected Islamists for allegedly planning a firearms attack near the Swedish parliament.

Swedish Parliament building in Stockholm, Sweden
The plan was to attack people, including police officers, outside the Swedish parliament in StockholmImage: Fu Yiming/Xinhua News Agency/picture alliance

Germany's Federal Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday said two suspected supporters of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) jihadist militia had been arrested in the central German state of Thuringia.

Prosecutors allege that the two Afghan nationals had hatched a plot to carry out an attack near the Swedish legislature in retaliation for Quran book burnings in the country.

"The two detainees had already made concrete preparations for a bloody attack," German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said, adding that the case shows Germany is well equipped to combat terrorist threats. There are, he said, sufficient possibilities and means to take action against "the enemies of our freedom."

How developed was the plot?

The pair was said to have planned "to kill police officers and other people with firearms in Stockholm in the area of the Swedish parliament." 

The suspects, who were detained in the central city of Gera,  were said to have already made "concrete preparations" for the attack. They had carried out local research but attempts to obtain weapons had been unsuccessful.

One of the men, Ibrahim M. G., is said to have joined the IS Khorasan Province (ISPK) offshoot, which has its origins in Afghanistan and eastern parts of Iran.

According to the investigation, the ISPK is said to have commissioned him to carry out an attack in the summer of 2023 in response to Quran burnings in Sweden.

From then on, he is said to have planned an attack on the Swedish Parliament in the capital, Stockholm, together with the second person arrested, Ramin N.

The pair are said to have collected donations in Germany of about €2,000 ($2,170) for ISPK.

Both are due to appear before the investigating judge at the Federal Court of Justice in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe. A decision is expected to be made about possible pre-trial detention.

*Editor's note: DW follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and urges us to refrain from revealing the full names of alleged criminals.

rc/fb (AFP, dpa)

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