By Chris King •
Published: 29 Nov 2023 • 19:29
Image of German police vehicle.
TWO teenagers are suspected of planning terrorist attacks on a Christmas market and a synagogue in the German city of Leverkusen.
The Neuruppin public prosecutor’s office and the Düsseldorf public prosecutor’s office are investigating the two on suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence that endangered the state, spiegel.de reported this Wednesday, November 29.
According to information obtained by the news outlet from its sources in security circles, 16-year-old Rasul M, a Russian citizen of Chechen origin, was arrested in the town of Wittstock, in the north-western Brandenburg district of Ostprignitz-Ruppin.
His suspected accomplice, Edris D, a 15-year-old German-Afghan national, was detained by police officers in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Leverkusen after an arrest warrant was issued for him on Wednesday afternoon.
In Telegram chats, the teenagers are allegedly said to have discussed, among other things, ‘several possible targets’, according to investigators said the publication. These ‘targets’ apparently included a Christmas market and a synagogue.
Different scenarios were also said to have been discussed, including using a lorry and an arson attack using Molotov cocktails. It was also allegedly mentioned in their chats that petrol had already been purchased.
Their plans are reminiscent of the worst Islamist terrorist attack to occur in Germany to date. On December 19, 2016, a total of 13 people were killed after Tunisian national Anis Amri drove a lorry into the Christmas market on Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz.
Experienced terror investigators revealed that the plans made by the two teenagers were apparently at a very early stage. As a result, the Federal Prosecutor General in Karlsruhe has not yet taken over the investigation.
As reported by the aforementioned German newspaper, the reason why the investigators gained early access to their plans was that they became aware of Rasul M. wanting to make his way from Brandenburg to North Rhine-Westphalia. The situation could therefore be viewed as ‘sufficiently concrete’, they said.
Today’s arrests come at a time when security authorities across Europe are more concerned about Islamist attacks than they have been for a long time after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.
As a consequence, Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution has been on alert, fearing that the massacre in Israel could lead radicalised individual perpetrators or smaller groups to carry out attacks on German territory.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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