Syrian-born brothers arrested over foiled ISIS plot to blow up Swedish church

German police allege the pair had bought explosives

Police in Germany have arrested two brothers over a suspected plot to bomb a church. AFP
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German police have arrested two Syrian-born brothers over their suspected involvement in an ISIS plot to blow up a church in Sweden.

The Hamburg public prosecutor's office arrested a 24-year-old man this week in Kempten.

It follows the arrest of his 28-year-old brother in April following police raids in Hamburg.

The police allege the pair were plotting to blow up a church in Sweden during a service when members of the public would have been there.

“Due to the suspicion of a planned bomb attack, the Hamburg public prosecutor's office executed another arrest warrant in the course of joint investigations by the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Hamburg State Criminal Police Office,” the prosecutor's office said.

“According to the ongoing investigations, the [second] accused, who lives in Kempten and was initially only suspected of being an accessory, is now urgently suspected of jointly preparing a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state in conjunction with the joint financing of terrorism.

“He is said not only to have encouraged his brother in his decision to act and to have supported him in procuring the components required for the production of explosives, but rather to have promised to commit the attack together with him.

“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 man's brother was arrested by special forces in April on suspicion of plotting a “radical Islamist” attack in Germany.

He is suspected of buying materials on eBay to make a home-made explosive belt. He had allegedly been buying materials “for several weeks”, said police.

The two brothers planned to “carry out an attack against civilian targets” and chemical substances were found during raids involving 250 officers, they said.

Updated: May 26, 2023, 3:57 PM