German police arrest man suspected of planning Frankfurt attack

Man accused of planning shooting attack, researching how to build explosive devices and procuring a stabbing weapon

Police in Duesseldorf, Germany. AP
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German police arrested an 18-year-old man suspected of having planned to carry out an attack in Frankfurt near the border with Austria, as he attempted to leave the country for Iraq to join ISIS, investigators said on Thursday.

The German citizen, who has Moroccan roots and grew up in Germany, was arrested on Wednesday at a motorway rest area near Passau, Frankfurt prosecutors and Hesse state criminal police said in a statement.

The man, whose name was not released, is accused of having planned a shooting attack in Frankfurt, researching how to build explosive devices online and procuring a stabbing weapon that he kept in his parents' garage.

His arrest stems from an investigation that started last summer.

German authorities were alerted to the potential attack by a foreign intelligence service, which Thursday's statement did not identify.

When the suspect's home was searched in August, investigators found depictions of the ISIS group's flag and pictures of fighting and executions, but could not immediately substantiate suspicions that he was planning an attack.

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Further investigations suggested that he had put off his plans for an attack in Frankfurt for fear of being discovered as well as being unable to afford a firearm, authorities said.

Instead, he allegedly planned to leave Germany on Wednesday to travel overland to Iraq, where he hoped to join ISIS, “slaughter infidels” and fight state institutions.

The suspect was arrested before he could leave the country and his home was searched again.

Updated: March 09, 2023, 10:24 PM