Afghan duo arrested in Germany for ‘concrete plans’ for firearms terror attack at Swedish parliament

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

Two Afghan nationals have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planning a terror attack near the Swedish parliament to avenge the permittance of Koran-burning demonstrations in the country.

Federal Prosecutor General Jens Rommel confirmed the two suspects were detained by special forces in Gera, Thuringia, early on Tuesday morning and are believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISPK) — a regional branch of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Ibrahim M.-G, 30, and Ramin N., 23, who are understood to have joined ISPK last year, are due to appear before an investigating judge at the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe later on Tuesday where they are expected to be placed in pre-trial detention.

According to Der Spiegel, the pair intended to carry out a terror attack using firearms against police officers and politicians outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm after becoming incensed that demonstrations involving the burning of the Islamic holy book were allowed to take place in the Scandinavian country.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office revealed the suspects had made “concrete plans” to carry out the attack. The seizure of their personal IT equipment showed they had conducted extensive reconnaissance of the location surrounding the parliament, and had attempted to obtain firearms without success several times on the dark web.

Their arrests mark the latest in a long line of planned terror attacks thwarted by counter-terror police across Europe in recent months — and Sweden continues to often be the target.

The Swedish government raised its terror alert to Level 4 in January — its second-highest level — indicating terrorists are very likely to attempt attacks both in the country and against Swedish nationals elsewhere.

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In October last year, an ISPK supporter shot and killed two Swedish football fans ahead of their country’s clash with the Belgium national team in Brussels. Earlier this month, four suspected IS-linked terrorists were arrested in a raid on a Swedish mosque in Stockholm County, with police seizing several firearms.

The threat of terror attacks across wider Europe is also escalating

In the lead-up to last Christmas, police officers in Spain, Germany, and Austria made several arrests in connection with a large-scale terror attack planned on Christian landmarks including Cologne Cathedral and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

This followed the stabbing of a German-Filipino national earlier that month near the Eiffel Tower in Paris by a French-Iranian terrorist who also injured two others and shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the rampage.

Earlier this month, Belgian counter-terrorism officers arrested four men suspected of being connected to an extremist Islamist organization, with three of the suspects reported as minors.

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