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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Three arrested in Cologne Cathedral attack plan in Germany

With the three individuals securely in custody, authorities hope to disrupt any further coordination among them.

As the world prepares to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new, authorities in Germany have thwarted a potential terrorist attack on one of the country’s iconic landmarks. The alleged Islamist plot targeted the famed Cologne Cathedral on New Year’s Eve, with authorities detaining three additional suspects on Sunday.

Planned Attack

The assailants reportedly intended to use a car in their attempt to target the 800-year-old Gothic cathedral located along the Rhine river. Cologne police director Frank Wissbaum revealed that the method of the planned attack remained unclear, but authorities took swift action to ensure public safety.

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Investigation and Connections

The detained suspects were linked to a 30-year-old Tajik man already in custody since December 24, allegedly associated with the Islamic State militant movement. Federal authorities are actively investigating what they describe as a “network of individuals” from Central Asia with connections to various German states and European countries.

Detentions and Seizures

The suspects were apprehended in the western cities of Duisburg, Herne, and Noervenich. Searches of their residences yielded the confiscation of communication devices, providing investigators with potential evidence. With the three individuals securely in custody, authorities hope to disrupt any further coordination among them.

Enhanced Security Measures

In response to the thwarted plot, security has been significantly intensified in and around the Cologne Cathedral ahead of the New Year’s Eve service. Cologne police have urged the public not to be alarmed if they observe officers carrying machine guns and wearing body armor. These visible measures aim to reassure the public and deter any potential threats.

Nationwide Vigilance

Beyond Cologne, thousands of extra police officers are patrolling in Berlin, mindful of the violent clashes that marred last year’s celebrations. Authorities remain vigilant following the banning of a pro-Palestinian solidarity demonstration scheduled for midnight in the capital.

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As Germany braces itself for New Year’s Eve festivities, the foiled plot against the Cologne Cathedral serves as a stark reminder of the persistent threat of terrorism. The collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies have prevented potential tragedy, highlighting the importance of ongoing vigilance and security measures in the face of evolving threats.