Germany hunts suspects linked to ‘New Year DAESH plot’

German police hunt several people suspected of plotting suicide attack in Munich on New Year’s Eve

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Members of German federal police Bundespolizei demonstrate their skills during a presentation of the new unit for arrests and securing evidence in Ahrensfelde near Berlin, Germany December 16, 2015.

German police were on high alert on Friday as they hunted for up to seven people suspected of plotting a New Year's Eve suicide attack in Munich in the name of the DAESH terror group.

Police said an investigation was under way, with 550 officers deployed to hunt down the suspects and secure the city, warning that the threat remained "high."

"We still have many colleagues deployed. There is, as before, a high threat of terror," a police spokesman told Agence France Presse.

German officials said they were tipped off by a "friendly intelligence service" about the plan, which was to have been executed at around midnight, said Joachim Herrmann, interior minister for the southern state of Bavaria.

Just 90 minutes before the southern German city was to bring in the New Year, police ordered the evacuation of Munich's main rail station and another station in the west of the city after being tipped off about a possible "terror attack."

Police chief Hubertus Andrae said "five to seven" suspects were believed to be involved.

Andrae said that German officials had received a "very concrete" tip that suicide attacks were planned at train stations in the southern city at midnight.

"We received names. We can't say if they are in Munich or in fact in Germany," he said.

Following the alert, which was issued at 10:30 pm (2130 GMT), rail services at both stations were suspended and police urged the public to avoid large gatherings.

By Friday morning, the stations were reopened, Munich police said, but warned the public to remain vigilant.

European capitals have been on high alert over the holidays, with both Brussels and Paris scrapping the traditional fireworks show for their respective New Year celebrations.

Belgian police were also holding five people over an alleged New Year plot in Brussels.


TRTWorld and agencies