Two Syrian brothers arrested in Germany last month on suspicion of plotting a radical Islamist terror attack had discussed plans to blow up a fully occupied Swedish church, investigators announced on Tuesday.
In a joint press release by German federal police, Hamburg state police, and the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office, authorities revealed that two Syrian nationals had been intending to detonate a homemade bomb on an unspecified Christian place of worship in the Scandinavian country.
Anas K., 28, and Ahmad K., 24, were arrested at their homes in Hamburg and Kempten in the early hours of April 25 as police executed an arrest warrant for the former for terrorist financing.
They soon discovered the brothers had been preparing to build a homemade explosive belt to attack civilians, with police also recovering substantial evidence including chemicals consistent with bomb-making and a number of burner phones.
Germany: Two Syrian nationals arrested for plotting terror attack using homemade suicide belt
Around 250 police officers were involved in raids on the suspects’ homes on Tuesday morning
It is understood the older brother, Anas K., had purchased the raw materials on eBay to build the suicide vest.
“According to current knowledge, the accused had envisaged an unspecified church in Sweden as the target of the attack, in which people should have been at the time in question,” the investigators’ report published on Tuesday read.
The charges against the duo have since been reclassified from the act of financing terrorism to preparing a serious act of violence that endangers the state.
The younger brother was initially suspected of being an accessory to the crime; however, the investigation has since concluded that “he not only encouraged his brother in his decision to act and supported him in procuring the components required for the production of explosives, but also promised to commit the attack together with him.”
The pair remain in police custody.