BERLIN (dpa) – Police in Germany raided 13 homes in three cities Tuesday as they expanded their anti-terrorism investigation four days after the arrests in Berlin of two alleged supporters of the Islamic State extremist group in Syria.
Officials said 11 apartments were targeted in Berlin and one each in nearby Potsdam and Nordhausen in the eastern state of Thuringia in an operation that involved 200 officers.
A police spokesman said the searches could yield further evidence of links to terrorist activities in Syria but added that there was no current evidence of attacks being planned in Germany. Those targeted Tuesday went to the same mosque in the Berlin neighbourhood of Moabit as the two arrested last week. They were not currently being treated as suspects, but computer hard drives were taken from their homes.
On Friday, anti-terrorism police in Berlin arrested two men in their 40s who are suspected of recruiting fighters and supplying cash to the Islamic State group. The investigation had been under way for a year.
Berlin’s city prosecutor Martin Steltner said one of them – identified only as Ismet D, 41 – had taught a course on Islam at a Berlin mosque and had “radicalised” at least 30 people and prepared them to fight in Syria.
Ismet, who called himself the “emir” of the Berlin group, was planning to visit Syria, police said, adding that they found airline tickets during the search.