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German police detain Syrian for ‘preparing’ explosives attack

A 19-year-old Syrian has been detained on suspicion of planning to carry out a terror attack in Germany. The man was ready to carry out the attack using highly explosive materials, according to prosecutors. A Syrian man suspected of planning a terror attack was detained in the northern German city of Schwerin, the Federal Prosecutor's Office said on Tuesday in a statement. The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Yamen A., was taken into police custody. Prosecutors said in a statement that the teen is "strongly suspected of having planned an Islamist-motivated attack" that involved "highly explosive" materials. Authorities added that Yamen A. had already "concretely prepared" the attack. Read more: Preventing terrorism: What powers do German security forces have? In July this year, the suspect made the decision to detonate an explosive device in Germany "in order to kill and injure as many people as possible," the statement read. Yamen A. then began to procure components to make an explosive device, including chemicals. It was not initially clear whether the suspect had selected a location to carry out the attack, prosecutors said. They added that there are no signs that Yamen A. was connected to any terrorist organizations. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the suspect's arrest prevented a "serious terror attack in Germany." He noted that the arrest occurred "at the right time — late enough to secure evidence and at the same time early enough to reliably avert danger." De Maizeire said that the terror threat posed by Islamic extremists in Germany and Europe remains "unchanged at a high level." Apartments searched in Hamburg and Schwerin The man's apartment as well as the apartments of others not yet suspected of involvement in planning the attack have been searched in Schwerin and the city of Hamburg. Prosecutors were set to give a press conference later on Tuesday. Read more: Masoud's list revisited — 'IS' victim turns terrorist hunter in Germany Germany was hit by several attacks in 2016, including one in December where a Tunisian man drove a stolen truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. Last July, a 27-year-old Syrian refugee detonated an explosive device outside a music festival in the southern German town of Ansbach, killing himself and wounding 15 people.

A 19-year-old Syrian has been detained on suspicion of planning to carry out a terror attack in Germany. The man was ready to carry out the attack using highly explosive materials, according to prosecutors. A Syrian man suspected of planning a terror attack was detained in the northern German city of Schwerin, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said on Tuesday in ... Read More »

Police believe UK attacker acted alone

Anti-terrorism police have said they believe the man who killed four people outside parliament last week acted alone. Police have since raided several addresses and arrested 11 people, with only two remaining in custody. Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Neil Basu (above) said on Saturday there was no intelligence to suggest further attacks were planned. "We still believe that Masood acted alone on the day," Basu said in a statement. "Nevertheless we are determined to understand if Masood was a lone actor inspired by terrorist propaganda or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him." Police are reportedly investigating media reports that Masood checked his encrypted messaging service WhatsApp - or even sent a message - just before the attack, which hinted at others being involved. 'We may never know' "We must all accept there is a possibility we will never understand why he did this. That understanding may have died with him," Basu added. British-born Islamic convert Khalid Masood, 52, was shot dead after killing four people including a policemen on Wednesday after ramming his car into pedestrians. The self-styled "Islamic State" group (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack and police inquiries since have concentrated on whether Masood was acting with accomplices. Two people remain in custody for questioning, neither of whom have reportedly been charged or identified. Nine others who had been arrested in connection with the investigation have been released. Of them, two men, one aged 58, and the other 27 - both arrested in Birmingham - are being held under the Terrorism Act. Two women have been released on bail, a 32-year-old arrested in Manchester and a 39-year-old from London. Misjudged threat Masood had been considered by intelligence officers to be a known criminal who posed little serious threat. He had shown up on the periphery of previous terrorism investigations that brought him to the attention of Britain's MI5 spy agency. Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009, a Saudi Embassy statement released late Friday said. Details about how he became radicalized aren't clear. Eighty-two seconds Having reconstructed the attack, the police said it had begun at 14:40:08 when Masood's hire car mounted the pavement on Westminster Bridge, weaving along the footpath and road until 14:40:38 when he crashed into the perimeter fence of the Palace of Westminster. He left the car at 14:40:51 and was shot by a police firearms officer, part of the close protection team of the defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon, in the palace courtyard at 14:41:30. At 14:40:59, the first call to emergency services was made to report the incident.

Anti-terrorism police have said they believe the man who killed four people outside parliament last week acted alone. Police have since raided several addresses and arrested 11 people, with only two remaining in custody. Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Neil Basu (above) said on Saturday there was no intelligence to suggest further attacks were planned. “We still believe ... Read More »

After London attack, eyewitnesses reflect on grisly scenes

UK officials are investigating a deadly attack near the Houses of Parliament. Some of those who witnessed the events spoke with DW's Abigail Frymann Rouch in London. Eyewitnesses spoke of the moment they saw the human carnage left in the wake of Wednesday afternoon's attack on Westminster Bridge. Read DW's live updates on the London attacks here. A young man - who declined to give his name - had been on a bus approaching Westminster Bridge just after the attack. The driver asked all passengers to disembark at St. Thomas's Hospital. Talking over the sound of sirens, he told DW: "I walked off the bus and saw someone laid down by the side with tourist guidebooks around them." "As I walked along I saw more bodies on the ground, and people holding each other. I saw about 12 on the ground, laid out, and the next guy's leg is all broken and to the side," he said. A woman from Manchester, who also asked to remain anonymous, was in London with friends when she saw the grisly incident unfold. "I was on the bridge. I saw the car mow down a lot of people. I saw some people lying flat on the floor, and the police got there really quickly, and the ambulance did. One guy was dead." Visibly shaken, she said: "I never wish to see anything like that again. Ever." Terrorist incident 'not a surprise' Police quickly cordoned off a wide area around the Houses of Parliament and closed Westminster Bridge and Westminster Underground Station. The civil service offices of Whitehall were placed on lockdown, and helicopters circled overhead while ambulances and police vans screeched past. Curious tourists and schoolchildren approached the police cordon, eager to see what was happening. The United Kingdom has been on a terror alert since the July 2005 attacks, in which a swift succession of three suicide bombings killed 52 people and injured hundreds on the London Underground. For Sam and Osmond, both 17, this was one reason why the attack wasn't a surprise. But they did wonder why the attacker chose such a well-patrolled area of the capital. "This is the safest place you could be, when there's loads of police around," said Osmond. If they were to do [an attack] on the train, I'd be really petrified. Here, it's a really stupid place to do it," Osmond said. A mix of emotions Around 5 p.m., workers began streaming out across St James's Park, trying to work out how to get home in spite of various station closures and discussing the disruption to their day. Civil servants are not permitted to speak to the press, but one woman who worked at the Foreign Office and declined to give her name told DW that she hadn't initially known what was going on, and the sound of helicopters was not unusual in Westminster. "I had a lot of work to do. Then I got all these messages from my children asking if I was okay. It was only when I saw a tweet that I realized something was going on. We had to stay in the building, but we were pretty chilled." Caleb, a college student from Exeter on a daytrip to London, said that as a photographer, he came to see if he could get some good shots. His friend, Izzy, was more shaken. "It's a bit scary; you never know when it's going to happen." Would Izzy visit the Houses of Parliament if they're open tomorrow? "No!" she said firmly. "It's just life. You can't not go places," Maureen, an American tourist, told DW. She was texting friends and family back home to reassure them of her safety, but she was emphatic that the incident would not impact her plans. Only the policed cordons and the roar of the helicopters told of the day's horror as the sun set on the swans and daffodils of St James's Park. For those who didn't witness the horror first-hand, years of being on high alert left them grateful to be safe. On Wednesday evening, their first concern was how to get home - and then, to watch the news to better understand the full extent of what just happened.

UK officials are investigating a deadly attack near the Houses of Parliament. Some of those who witnessed the events spoke with DW’s Abigail Frymann Rouch in London. Eyewitnesses spoke of the moment they saw the human carnage left in the wake of Wednesday afternoon’s attack on Westminster Bridge. Read DW’s live updates on the London attacks here. A young man ... Read More »

PM May: London attack suspect was British-born, known to UK’s MI5 intelligence service

In an address to parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May has said that the London attack suspect was British-born and had been investigated by security forces. May added that one of the injured was a German national. The assailant who carried out a deadly attack outside parliament on Wednesday as born in Great Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons Thursday. "What I can confirm is that the man was British-born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism," she told lawmakers. "He was a peripheral figure," May said, adding that "he was not part of the current intelligence picture." The Prime Minister added that there had been no prior intelligence of his plot to carry out an attack on the Westminster Bridge and parliament. British parliament reopened on Thursday, one day after the deadly attack that took place outside the Palace of Westminster. MPs and police observed a sombre minute of silence to remember the victims. Arrests made in police raids Prime Minister May also confirmed that police carried out raids in Birmingham and London as part of the investigation into the attack, arresting a total of eight people. Earlier on Thursday, Mark Rowley, Britain's top anti-terrorism officer, added that authorities believe the attacker "acted alone" and was "inspired by international terrorism." Police have said they know the identity of the attacker but have not yet named him as investigations into his "motivation and associates" are ongoing. The senior counter-terrorism officer added that police have "no specific information about further threats to the public." Rowley also revised the death toll, saying that four people are dead - including the attacker - and that 29 people are currently being treated in hospital for their injuries. Seven of those wounded are in critical condition. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told BBC Radio that the police have a "working assumption" that the attack is "linked to Islamic terrorism." A knife-wielding man plowed a car into a crowd of pedestrianson London's Westminster Bridge and stabbed a policeman outside the British Parliament on Wednesday. The assailant was shot shortly after stabbing the officer. Police had earlier reported that the death toll was five and that a total of 40 people were wounded. Details on victims emerge Rowley said that there were a mix of nationalities among the dead but gave no identifying information. He said that the victims of the attack include 48-year-old Keith Palmer, the policeman who was stabbed, and two members of the public - a woman in her mid-40s and a man in his mid-50s. The attacker is the fourth dead. Three French high-school students between the ages of 15 and 16 were injured during the attack. They were on a school trip to London with fellow students from Brittany. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was expected to arrive in the English capital to visit them in the hospital, French media reported. Another five South Korean tourists were also wounded, Seoul's foreign ministry said. A Chinese tourist and a Portugese man were also injured, their respective governments said. A seriously injured woman was rescued from the River Thames where she fell after the attacker's vehicle plowed through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. Romanian officials said that the woman was a Romanian tourist who was in London to celebrate her boyfriend's birthday. The woman sustained serious injuries to her head and lungs while her boyfriend suffered a fractured foot, Romanian Ambassador Dan Mihalache told Realitatea TV late on Wednesday. 'We are not afraid' Prime Minister Theresa May previously described the attack as "sick and depraved," adding that Britain's alert level would remain unchanged at "severe," or level four. "We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart," said May on Wednesday. Several Londoners appeared to echo the prime minister's sentiment to defiantly carry on with their lives. The Tower Hill Underground station, known for writing a quote of the day for busy travelers to ponder as they rush through the city, posted a picture of today's quote on Twitter: "The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of them all." They added the hashtags "London is open" and "we are not afraid." Queen Elizabeth II postponed her visit to open the new headquarters of London's Metropolitan Police on Thursday. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said a candlelight vigil for the victims will be held tonight at 6:00 p.m. GMT (UTC) in Trafalgar Square.

In an address to parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May has said that the London attack suspect was British-born and had been investigated by security forces. May added that one of the injured was a German national. The assailant who carried out a deadly attack outside parliament on Wednesday as born in Great Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May told the House ... Read More »

Relief in Germany as New Year passes without incident

Police have reported very little trouble during celebrations to mark the start of 2017 in Berlin and Cologne. Security was tightened following the Christmas market attack on December 19. Organizers of the New Year festivities in Germany's capital said hundreds of thousands of people were present on Saturday night, barely two weeks after Tunisian Anis Amri rammed a truck into a Berlin Christmas market. The Festmeile (party mile) which leads to the city's famous Brandenburg Gate, which was packed with revelers, was ringed by concrete barriers in an attempt to prevent similar rampage incidents. In the late afternoon twilight revelers across Berlin lit fireworks, with a massive display around midnight continuing into the early hours of Sunday. Berlin police said apart from two cases of sexual harassment, the evening passed off peacefully. DW's Laura Schneider reported that earlier in the evening, a man was arrested after he shouted "bomb, bomb, bomb" during the Berlin celebrations at the city's landmark Brandenburg Gate. Police tweeted that it was 'not funny' and he would now be welcoming in the New Year with them. Unease in Cologne In Cologne, the scene of last year's sexual harrassment and attacks on New Year's Eve, more than a thousand extra police, including many women officers, were deployed for duty. At one point, police said they security screened more than 1,000 men of North African origin as they arrived at Cologne's main railway station, and a station in another suburb of the city. DW's Dana Regev tweeted that the men were having their identities checked. Last year, hundreds of women claimed they were sexually assaulted by large groups of migrants, who also carried out mass robberies among the revelers while letting off fireworks. The incident led to widespread public outrage. Several other German cities remained on high alert on Saturday night, amid terrorism concerns and fears of a repeat of last year's events in Cologne. Turkey not spared While Germany escaped any further atrocity, a lone gunman dressed as Santa Claus, gunned down dozens of New Year revelers at a nighclub in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul. The city's governor said at least 35 people were killed and a similar number wounded. It was the latest attack on a country that was targeted several times in 2016, and where more than 180 people have died. Europe on alert Elsewhere in Europe, additional security measures put in place following the Berlin attack, helped put revelers minds at ease. Across France, an extra 90,000 police and army were deployed to watch over New Year celebrations. Despite the icy temperatures, hundreds of thousands of people turned out in Paris' Champs-Élysées for the annual fireworks display. There were similar scenes in London, where party-goers gathered on the banks of the River Thames for a 12-minute fireworks show put to music by many artists who had died in 2016, including David Bowie, Prince and George Michael. Spain's New Year tradition of the 12 grapes, where revelers eat a grape during each of the 12 bells at midnight of the clock tower at Madrid's Puerta del Sol, was also as popular as ever.

Police have reported very little trouble during celebrations to mark the start of 2017 in Berlin and Cologne. Security was tightened following the Christmas market attack on December 19. Organizers of the New Year festivities in Germany’s capital said hundreds of thousands of people were present on Saturday night, barely two weeks after Tunisian Anis Amri rammed a truck into ... Read More »

UK teen admits to inciting terrorism at Australian WWI ceremony

A 15-year-old British boy has pleaded guilty to encouraging another teenager to kill police officers during a war memorial parade in Australia. The planned attack was reportedly inspired by terror group "Islamic State." The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, entered the plea via videolink at London's Central Criminal Court on Thursday. He is charged with incitement to murder police officers at a Melbourne event marking the centenary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landings at Gallipoli during World War I. Prosecutors dropped a second charge relating to inciting beheading. The boy was arrested in northwestern England in April. Days before he was taken into custody, Australian police detained five teenagers on suspicion of plotting what Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described as an "Islamic State" group-inspired attack on the April 25 ANZAC ceremony. Prosecutor Paul Greeney told the court Thursday that the accused had sent thousands of mobile phone text messages to an 18-year-old Australian suspect in March, urging him to "to commit an act of terrorism abroad, namely the murder of police officers during an attack" on the parade. One message said "suggest you break into someone's house and get your first taste of beheading." The boy is due to be sentenced on September 3. The landing at Gallipoli in 1915 was the first major military action involving troops from Australia and New Zealand during World War 1. At this year's 100th anniversary events, a crowd of around 85,000 people attended a ceremony at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance. A total of 131,000 troops died during the campaign from 1915 to 1916, including 86,000 Turkish soldiers, 25,000 British, 10,000 French, and 10,000 ANZAC troops.

A 15-year-old British boy has pleaded guilty to encouraging another teenager to kill police officers during a war memorial parade in Australia. The planned attack was reportedly inspired by terror group “Islamic State.” The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, entered the plea via videolink at London’s Central Criminal Court on Thursday. He is charged with incitement ... Read More »

Tunisia declares state of emergency after massacre

تیونس کے صدر نے دہشت گردی کے ممکنہ خطرات کے پیش نظر ملک میں 30 روز کے لیے ہنگامی حالت نافذ کرنے کا اعلان کر دیا ہے۔ یہ اعلان ایک ہفتہ قبل ساحلی سیاحتی علاقے سوسہ میں کیے گئے دہشت گردانہ حملے کے تناظر میں کیا گیا ہے، جس میں 38 افراد ہلاک ہوئے تھے۔ ہلاک شدگان میں زیادہ تعداد برطانوی شہریوں کی تھی۔ تیونس کے صدر باجی قائد السبسی نے ہنگامی حالت کے نفاذ کا اعلان کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ تیونس دہشت گردانہ حملوں سے محفوظ نہیں ہے اور حالت جنگ میں ہے۔ اس سے قبل سن 2011ء میں عوامی انقلاب کے وقت بھی ملک میں ہنگامی حالت کا نفاذ عمل میں آیا تھا۔

Tunisia’s president has declared a state of emergency a week after an Islamic militant attack on the resort town of Sousse. The country last imposed such a measure during the 2011 uprising that launched the Arab Spring. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency on Saturday, a move that will give his government more authority, though it ... Read More »

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