German special forces arrest suspected Islamic State terrorist

German special forces have arrested a 24-year-old asylum seeker in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate on suspicion of being an Islamic State terrorist.

The man was picked up on Friday by an SEK SWAT team acting on a tip-off from a prison in Gelsenkirchen in the neighbouring state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Interior Ministry there said Tuesday.

The man is suspected of acting on behalf of a high-ranking member of the terrorist organization based primarily in Iraq in Syria, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate told dpa on Tuesday.

It is believed there was a potential attack being planned for the start of the Bundesliga 2nd division football season, which started at the weekend. Police said investigations had not thrown up any concrete evidence of a threat.

The man is being held in custody while investigations continue.

"The arrest shows that the security forces are cooperating well and successfully in the fight against Islamist terror," North-Rhine Westphalia Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger said. "We take every lead seriously and investigate accordingly."

The raid in the town of Mutterstadt also included the State Office of Criminal Investigation and was led by the police force in the city of Duisburg.

"This was a smooth porcess of cooperation between the police forces of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia," said Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister Roger Lewentz.

Last update: Tue, 09/08/2016 - 20:46

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