On Thursday, German police said they were able to thwart an Islamist attack after they took into custody a couple allegedly having links to Salafist militants.
The police also said they had cancelled a Frankfurt May Day cycle race, the intended target of the attack, after the German couple of Turkish descent was spotted on the route of the race.
According to Reuters, Peter Beuth, interior minister of Hessem, said, “Investigations by the police indicate that we have been able to prevent a terrorist attack. This incident shows that we must all remain very alert.”
After one of the individuals purchased a large volume of hydrogen peroxide using a fake name, the couple had been subjected to constant surveillance.
Stefan Rojczyk, Frankfurt’s deputy chief prosecutor, said, “This hydrogen peroxide triggered an alert.”
“Police figured out who had bought it and it was decided to act fast,” he said.
Rojczk said he was doubtful whether the couple shared links with Islamic militant groups.
According to The Guardian, he said, “He [the man detained] is a chemistry student.
“We are of course still trying to determine what was going on. We have the devices, we have the owners of these devices, but now we need to find out what was planned. Everything is being evaluated and this may take some time.”
On Thursday, police had raided the couple’s house and also searched their car. According to CNN, Prosecutor Albrecht Schreiber said a pipe bomb (which bore similarities to devices created by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings), 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a gun, the essential parts of a G-3 assault rifle and 3 liters of hydrogen peroxide (used in the 2005 London bombings) had been recovered from their house.
With the ammunition and weapons found, police extended their search to the L3004 road that lies on the route, according to Andreas Hemmes, spokesman for the police of West Hesse.
The couple was spotted at the site of the bike race, which local media suggest may have prompted the raid, according to BBC.
Beuth said, “We suspect that there was a Salafist background.
“Police investigations at this stage indicate that we have thwarted an Islamist attack.”
According to Florian Flade, a journalist at Die Welt and terrorism researcher, 90% of 700 Germans who traveled to Syria and Iraq had been recruited by the ISIS. While a third of them returned, 70 to 80 were killed in Syria and Iraq.
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