Germany Arrests 3 Al Qaeda Suspects
BERLINâ€”Germany’s top security official Friday said three suspected al Qaeda terrorists who have been arrested posed a “concrete and imminent” threat.
German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said in a statement that the arrests by “domestic intelligence services and foreign partner organization” succeeded in averting a serious danger.
Mr. Friedrich said the suspects had been under surveillance since April 15, and that the case showed that Germany remains a target of international terrorists.
German federal prosecutors said in a brief statement Friday that they ordered Germany’s federal police to arrest the trio. They gave no further information, including where the arrests took place, but said they would release more details at a news conference on Saturday.
The prosecutors said the three alleged terrorists would be brought before a judge who will decide whether they are to remain in detention pending a trial. German authorities said the trio were arrested early Friday. Prosecutors said they are to be brought before a judge in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe on Saturday.
Germany raised its security posture in November after receiving information from its own and foreign intelligence services that led authorities to believe a sleeper cell of some 20 to 25 people may have been planning an attack inside the country or in another European nation.
Around the same time Germany also received information from U.S. sources that a “Mumbai-style” attack may be planned for Germany, the official said. In November 2008, 10 militants from Pakistan laid siege to India’s financial capital of Mumbai, killing 166 people.
Later, Germany received information on possible attacks at Christmas or New Year’s.
In February, the German government lowered the terror level and reduced the number of police officers patrolling railway stations and other public places. However, the government also made clear that a threat to the country still remains.