BERLIN: Three Syrian men with suspected links to Islamic State have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planning an attack here, the federal public prosecutor said yesterday. It said in a statement that 27-year-old Hamza C, 25-year-old Mahood B and 31-year-old Abd Arahman AK had been arrested in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg and Baden-Wuerttemberg. Their homes were being searched. The federal public prosecutor also said that an arrest warrant had been issued for another Syrian man, 25-year-old Saleh A.

Two of the accused – Saleh A and Hamza C – had joined IS in Syria in the spring of 2014 and received the task from IS leaders to carry out an attack on the old town of Duesseldorf, a city in western Germany, the federal prosecutor said. They later persuaded the other men to take part in the attack, the prosecutor said. Saleh A and Hamza C planned for two men to blow themselves up on the Heinrich-Heine-Allee, a busy road in the city centre, and then other attackers were expected to kill as many pedestrians as many passers-by as possible with guns and explosive devices, the statement said. The prosecutor said there was no evidence that the suspects had actually started concretely implementing the attack plans.

Sweden – bomb plot
In another development, a 20-year-old Swede was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday for preparing to build a bomb to carry out a suicide attack, a court said. “The man had gathered information on bomb-building from the Internet and downloaded propaganda from IS,” the Attunda District Court said. “He is now sentenced to five years in prison for preparing to commit a terrorist crime.”

The man, named as Aydin Sevigin, was found guilty of buying materials such as a pressure cooker and ball bearings to make a bomb, intending to blow himself up in a suicide attack. The Prosecution Authority believe the man had earlier tried to join the jihadist group Islamic State in Syria, but was twice stopped in Turkey and sent back to Sweden. Sweden has not been hit by a large-scale militant attack, but local media reported in April that authorities received intelligence about a possible attack on the capital by Islamic State militants. In 2010 a suicide bomber died when his bomb belt went off prematurely in central Stockholm.- Agencies