Six suspects were arrested in Germany for allegedly claiming membership to the terror group ISIS and for planning a terror attack in an Essen marketplace.
The town has just over half a million people.
Police authorities say the six arrested Syrian refugees were planning the Christmas day attack to include “weapons or explosives.”
Per the Local:
The suspects, aged 20 to 28, were detained in dawn raids that saw some 500 police officers swoop on residences in the cities of Kassel, Essen, Hanover and Leipzig.
The men are accused of belonging to “the foreign terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State”, Christian Hartwig, a spokesman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office, said in a statement.
“The accused are also suspected of preparing an attack on a public target in Germany using weapons or explosives,” Hartwig said.
Germany has similarly seen a refugee-caused terror attack last year, when a vehicular attack killed a dozen people:
Such an attack would have revived painful memories of last December’s truck rampage in Berlin when a failed Tunisian asylum seeker smashed into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 people.
The country was met with an influx of Middle Eastern refugees a few years ago, several hundred of them are considered to be hostile:
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The six detained Syrians all arrived in Germany as asylum seekers between December 2014 and September 2015, at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis.
Domestic security services estimate there are some 10,300 radical Islamists in Germany.
About 700 of them are considered dangerous and capable of a violent attack.