Germany arrests Russian national over alleged extremist plot

August 22, 2018

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities on Wednesday arrested a Russian national suspected of plotting an Islamic extremist attack in Germany along with an alleged accomplice detained last year in France.

Federal prosecutors said the 31-year-old, identified only as Magomed-Ali C. because of German privacy rules, was arrested in Berlin. They said they believe that, in Oct. 2016, he stored a “significant quantity” of the explosive TATP at his apartment for an attack in Germany — time and place unknown.

However, prosecutors say the plans by C. and alleged accomplice Clement B. were disrupted by a “preventive police measure,” and the men decided to split up.

Clement B. left for France. He was arrested in Marseille in April 2017 over plans to carry out an attack in France, with several weapons and 3 kilograms (6.61 pounds) of TATP.

The French investigation produced evidence against Magomed-Ali C., and German prosecutors said they were keen to find out what happened to the explosives he is believed to have stored.

Spokeswoman Frauke Koehler said that no explosives were seized in Wednesday’s raid.

She said that both suspects are believed to have spent time at a now-closed radical Berlin mosque also frequented by Anis Amri, a Tunisian who drove a hijacked truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016 in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. Twelve people were killed.

Koehler said German investigators found a number stored in Amri’s cellphone that, with help from their French counterparts, they traced to Clement B.

It wasn’t clear what the nature of their contact was, but Koehler said prosecutors have no indication that either of the suspects in the alleged German TATP plot was involved in the Berlin truck attack or that Amri was involved in their plans.

Update hourly