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German police arrest four suspected of plotting to attack U.S. military targets

Authorities believe Tajik nationals belong to the Islamic State

Updated: April 15, 2020 - 12:19pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

German police on Wednesday arrested four Tajik nationals alleged to be planning an attack on U.S. military targets. Police believe the suspects belong to the Islamic State, according to reports.

A fifth suspect, also a Tajik national, was detained on other charges in March 2019, and remains in custody.

The men reportedly joined the Islamic State terror group early last year, and initially planned an attack inside Tajikistan. They switched to sites to inside Germany, prosecutors alleged.

"Targets for the attacks were supposed to be institutions of U.S. forces in Germany or even individual people," prosecutors said in a statement.

The group allegedly was in touch with Islamic State commanders in Syria and Afghanistan, and had obtained firearms and bomb-making instructions for an unspecified future attack.

The four suspects arrested on April 15 reportedly were detained in the city of Siegen and in the towns of Heinsberg and Werdohl in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

In December 2016, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State, a terrorist drove a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 dead and injuring 56.

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