Two Syrian nationals were arrested in Germany on Tuesday on suspicion of plotting a radical Islamist terror attack targeting civilians.
Authorities apprehended a 28-year-old man in Hamburg along with his 24-year-old brother who lived in Kempten in the southern German region of Allgäu. Both are understood to have been planning an Islamist-motivated attack in the country, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office, the State Criminal Police Office, and the Hamburg Public Prosecutor’s Office.
According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the brothers had aimed to use a homemade explosive belt to attack civilian targets. The older brother residing in Hamburg had been flagged by authorities after purchasing the raw materials required to build a suicide vest on eBay.
Authorities stormed the residences of both suspects on Tuesday and recovered substantial evidence including chemicals and mobile phones. Around 250 police officers are understood to have been involved in the operation.
The older brother in Hamburg had already been known to police after previously being issued an arrest warrant for alleged terrorist financing. It is not known at this time whether the suspect had previously been detained or convicted of this alleged crime.
“The two Syrian nationals are said to have planned an attack with a self-made explosive belt with a radical Islamist and jihadist intent to carry out an attack against civilian targets,” a Federal Criminal Police Office statement read.
“The 28-year-old main suspect from Hamburg is said to have purchased raw materials for the production of explosive material (…) via the online platform eBay and other providers.
“His brother, who lives in Kempten, is said to have encouraged him in planning the crime and thus provided assistance. There is no indication of a specific target,” it concluded.