Berlin, Germany: German police on Tuesday arrested three men with forged Syrian passports accused of being ISIS terrorists and labelled a possible “sleeper cell” with links to the Paris attackers. More than 200 police commandos took part in the pre dawn raids in northern Germany to detain the men, who were suspected of either plotting an attack or awaiting orders to commit one.
The men were identified only as Mahir al H, 17, Ibrahim M, 18, and Mohamed A, 26, in a statement issued by federal prosecutors. They left Syria last October and travelled via Turkey and Greece a route used by tens of thousands of refugees and migrants and arrived in Germany in mid November.
“According to what we know so far, the investigation of the (federal criminal office) BKA points to links to the attackers of Paris from November 2015,” de Maiziere told a press conference.
Warrants for their arrest had been issued by a federal judge on September 7, based in part on intelligence provided by Germany’s domestic security agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In July, Germany suffered two bloody attacks claimed by ISIS, which were carried out by migrants. German authorities have urged the public not to confuse migrants and “terrorists, “but have acknowledged that more jihadists may have entered the country among the around one million asylum seekers who arrived last year.