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Germany makes arrests over Sweden parliament attack plot

Two Afghans allegedly made 'concrete preparations' foor an attack around the Swedish parliament
Two Afghans allegedly made 'concrete preparations' foor an attack around the Swedish parliament - Copyright AFP SAID KHATIB
Two Afghans allegedly made 'concrete preparations' foor an attack around the Swedish parliament - Copyright AFP SAID KHATIB
Sam Reeves

Two Afghans linked to the Islamic State group were arrested in Germany on Tuesday on suspicion of planning an attack around Sweden’s parliament in retaliation for Koran burnings, prosecutors said.

The men, identified as Ibrahim M.G. and Ramin N., were detained in the Gera area of eastern Germany, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

One IS suspect was tasked by the jihadist group with carrying out an attack in Europe last year in response to Koran burnings in Sweden, it said.

The man is accused of plotting with Ramin N. “to use firearms to kill police officers and other people in the area of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm”, prosecutors said.

“The pair made concrete preparations for this in close consultation with officials” from a regional branch of IS, the prosecutors added.

“In particular, they researched conditions around the possible crime scene on the internet and tried several times — albeit unsuccessfully — to procure weapons.”

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said his country’s security services were in close contact with German authorities about the “very serious information” that had emerged. 

“Sweden has faced a very threatening period,” he added.

Sweden and neighbouring Denmark last year saw a spate of public desecrations of the Koran, including burnings, mainly by immigration opponents, which sparked widespread outrage in Muslim countries.

In August, Sweden’s SAPO intelligence service raised its threat level to four on a scale of five. 

Two months later, two Swedish football fans were killed in a “terror attack” in Brussels, which was carried out by a Tunisian living illegally in Belgium, ahead of a Belgium-Sweden international match.

– Latest plot foiled –

Both suspects detained in Germany are accused of plotting to commit a crime. Ibrahim M.G. is suspected of having supported and of having been a member of a terrorist organisation.

Ramin N. is accused of having supported a terrorist organisation.

Prior to the plot, they are also accused of having collected around 2,000 euros ($2,170) for IS in Germany. 

The money was sent to the group via intermediaries to support imprisoned IS members in northern Syria.

They are also accused of breaking regulations on making foreign payments.

In October, German prosecutors charged two Syrian brothers for planning an attack inspired by IS at a church in Sweden over Koran burnings.

Islamist extremists have also committed several attacks in Germany in recent years, the deadliest being a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12 people.

In 2020 a man and his wife were jailed in 2020 for planning a biological bomb attack in Germany with the deadly poison ricin.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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