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Germany: Raid on alleged Islamists trained with axes and knives

Düren - The police searched several apartments in Düren in North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday on suspicion of preparing a “serious criminal offense”. The attorney general's office accused five men of having prepared a terrorist attack.

"The suspects are accused of using propaganda material from the foreign terrorist organization 'Islamic State ' to prepare for an act motivated by terrorism," said the public prosecutor's office together with the Cologne police. The five suspects are two German nationals, two German-Russian dual nationals and one Turkish citizen between 16 and 22 years of age. Around 350 police officers, including special units, were used to access the site.

Group organizes terror training with axes and knives
As Der Spiegel first reported, the ringleader of the group was apparently an officially recorded threat from the region. At the end of last year, the well-connected jihadist is said to have organized a kind of “terror training” for the troops.

The men had rehearsed attacks with axes and knives in a forest. Concrete attack plans have not yet emerged. The special commission "Stern" of the state security had observed the group for a long time.

Around 2,000 potential terrorists are in Germany
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution estimates the Islamist scene in Germany at around 12,000 people, which is a tripling of the number compared to 2011. The Federal Criminal Police Office classifies 551 of them as dangerous. The authority considers this to be an acute threat.

President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, recently put the number of violent Islamists at 2,000 higher. "Those are all that we, as the intelligence service, trust to potentially carry out terrorism and even attacks," Haldenwang explained to Der Tagesspiegel.

Seehofer: 23 attacks prevented since 2000
After the Afghan Taliban came to power in August, concerns about Islamist attacks in Western countries have increased again. On Tuesday, a senior official in the US Department of Defense said, according to Der Spiegel, that the offshoot of the terrorist militia “Islamic State” in Afghanistan could probably carry out attacks in America in six months.

A month ago, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced, according to Die Welt, that the German security authorities had already prevented 23 terrorist attacks since 2000.

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