Berlin, Paris target ‘Islamists’ in raids

Berlin, Paris target ‘Islamists’ in raids

Berlin, Paris target ‘Islamists’ in raids

Police officers leave a house during a raid after undercovering Islamist plot, in Fellbach, southern Germany. AFP photo

Germany and France have staged raids over Islamist attacks, with French police arresting six suspected radical Islamists and Germany uncovering an “attack plot” that involved model planes.

German authorities staged raids on June 25 after uncovering an alleged Islamist plot to carry out bomb attacks using model airplanes, federal prosecutors said.

Elite police units stormed nine sites in southern and eastern Germany as well as Belgium based on suspicion of “preparation of grievous acts of anti-state violence” as well as money-laundering, the federal prosecutor’s office in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe said in a statement.

 The searches targeted two men of Tunisian origin “suspected of acquiring information and objects with the aim of carrying out radical Islamist explosives attacks using remote-controlled model airplanes.” No arrests were made, and prosecutors declined to provide any further details on the suspects or their alleged targets.

Suspects specialize in aeronautics

“The aim of today’s raids is to collect evidence of possible plans and preparations for attacks as well as information about the means of financing radical Islamist terrorism,” prosecutors said.

Beyond the two men of Tunisian extraction, the searches also targeted four of their alleged contacts “on suspicion of financing militant jihad” as well as a fifth person accused of money-laundering. Public broadcaster SWR reported that several of the suspects studied in Stuttgart, some of them specializing in aeronautics and doing internships in which they flew model airplanes using GPS navigation.

Germany’s announcement came after the French police arrested six people on June 24 who are suspected of belonging to a radical Islamist cell and of preparing attacks in France, a police source said.

The suspects, aged 22 to 38, were arrested in and near the Paris region. They were all known to police for various offences and one had appeared in an anti-terrorism investigation.

They can be held for questioning for up to 96 hours before judges decide whether to put them under formal investigation.

France has been on alert after a Muslim convert suspected of stabbing a French soldier in a religiously motivated attack. Alexandre Dhaussy, 22, is suspected of stabbing the soldier in the neck while he was patrolling a Paris business district, and then fleeing the scene. The soldier survived and is out of hospital.

Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.