Isil terrorists ‘planning Paris-style attack’ in Germany were posing as asylum-seekers and living in refugee shelters
German prosecutors are currently investigating 180 suspects linked to jihadist groups in Syria Credit: Getty
Justin Huggler, Berlin
3 June 2016 • 4:15pm
Three Syrian men arrested in Germany over an alleged plan to carry out a Paris-style terror attack for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) were living in the country posing as asylum-seekers, it has emerged.
The development came amid reports police are searching for a further six members of the terror cell believed to be still at large in Germany.
The ten-man cell was planning to carry out a large-scale attack in the centre of Düsseldorf’s Old Town, according to details leaked to the German media.
Two sucide bombers were to detonate explosive vests near the busty Heinrich-Heine-Allee U-Bahn station, while gunmen were to open fire in an attempt to maximise casualties.
The cell consisted of ten men, six of whom are still feared to be at large, according to Spiegel magazine.
“Isil wants to whip up sentiment against refugees”
– Rainer Wendt, head of the German police union
The head of the German police union on Friday warned against putting asylum-seekers under general suspicion after it emerged that two of those arrested were living in official refugee shelters.
The men, identified only as Hamza C, 27, Mahood B,25, and Abd Ahraman AK, 31, were held on Thursday in coordinated police operations across the country.
Information which led to their capture came from Saleh A, a fourth member of the cell who had apparently had a change of heart and turned himself in to French authorities.
He is also believed to have spent time at a German refugee shelter before travelling to Paris and surrendering to police there.
The fact the men were able to live for several months in Germany posing as asylum-seekers has raised fears of a backlash against the more than 1.1m migrants who entered the country last year.
“We know since the attacks of Paris and Brussels that Isil wants to influence the migration debate in Europe and to whip up sentiment against refugees,” Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police union, said. [And this fool is in the police?? ISIS, nor any other Muslims, don’t want any incidents that cause restrictions to Muslim migration into Europe.]
“This is part of their strategy. We must not fall into their trap.”
Police have been aware of the planned attack since Saleh A’s surrender in February, according to German media reports.
He is believed to have told French police at the time he was expecting to receive word to go ahead with the attack within as little as 24 hours.
It is not clear whether Isil decided to proceed with the plot after he gave himself up.
The men in the latest arrests have been under surveillance for some time, and it is not believed an attack was imminent.
The decision to arrest the men was taken after one of them made plans to travel to southern Europe, and was prompted by fears police could lose track of him.
Saleh A reportedly told French interrogators he was personally ordered to carry out the attack by Isil commanders in Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in Syria.