Multiple raids, second arrest in German anti-terrorism operation

A second Islamic State suspect is in custody in Germany, a regional security official said Wednesday, hours after police conducted five raids against suspected recruiters for the terrorist organization.

A 24-year-old asylum seeker suspected of planning an attack on the Bundesliga football league was arrested on Friday. He is being investigated on suspicion of membership of Islamic State and acting on behalf of a high-ranking member of the group.

Information gained following that arrest led to the detention of the second man on Wednesday, said Ralf Jaeger, interior minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The man was suspected of committing "violent acts in Syria."

Jaeger referred to the alleged Bundesliga plot as "vague" and said there was no imminent threat against the organization, which starts its season later this month.

Earlier on Wednesday, police carried out raids in five western German locations associated with three suspected recruiters for Islamic State, the federal prosecutor's office said, adding that one of them is suspected of providing financial and logistical support to the group.

"Anyone who thinks they go undetected while spreading hate and recruiting young men for the armed struggle in Syria and Iraq is wrong," Jaeger told a press conference.

Authorities are doing all they can "to make sure these Salafist seducers are prevented from brainwashing children and adolescents," he said, referring to an ultra-conservative reform movement within Sunni Islam that has a substantial following in Germany.

Online media outlet DerWesten reported that one of targets of the raids, the proprietor of a travel agency, had suspected links to two people planning an attack on a Sikh temple in the city of Essen.

Germany has been on high alert since four violent attacks in the space of one week last month - two of them claimed by Islamic State - left 12 people dead, three of them attackers.

In depth coverage

Suspected Islamic State recruiters targeted by raids in Germany

German police carried out a series of raids early Wednesday at locations associated with three suspected supporters of the Islamic State group, the federal prosecutor's office said.

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Last update: Wed, 10/08/2016 - 11:08
Last update: Wed, 10/08/2016 - 15:04

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