Tunisian IS suspect arrested over attack plot in Germany
A German police officer walks into a mosque during a terror raid in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
BERLIN — A Tunisian man suspected of being a recruiter for the Islamic State group and building a network of supporters to carry out an attack in Germany was arrested Wednesday as authorities raided dozens of locations.
Frankfurt prosecutors said that their investigation was directed against 16 people aged between 16 and 46. The main suspect, a 36-year-old Tunisian whom authorities didn’t identify, was arrested in Frankfurt on suspicion of supporting a foreign terrorist organization.
Investigators believe that he had been a recruiter and smuggler for the IS group since August 2015. They suspect that he had built up a network of supporters with the aim, among other things, of carrying out an attack in Germany. However, they say that plans for an attack were at an early stage and no specific target had been chosen.
Wednesday’s raids covered 54 apartments, business premises and mosques, largely in Frankfurt and the surrounding region. Officials said the raids followed a four-month investigation.
In a separate case, prosecutors in Berlin said that they arrested three people Tuesday night suspected of planning to travel to Syria or Iraq to undergo explosives and weapons training with IS.
All three were associated with the Fussilet mosque in Berlin mosque known as a gathering point for radicals, said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for prosecutors. Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri visited the mosque shortly before his Dec. 19 rampage, in which 12 people were killed.