German police have averted something that probably could have been a major terrorist attack, like the bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013.
A Muslim couple are suspected of plotting a terrorist attack against a popular bicycle race that attracts an audience of millions. The couple was arrested on Wednesday, just two days before the planned attack.
The two suspected terrorists were arrested on Wednesday night in Oberursel, a small town just north of Frankfurt. It is a 35 year old man and his 34 year old wife. The man is said to be a German citizen of Turkish origin and his wife are said to be from Turkey.
The couple, in German media only named as Halil and Senay D, were in the Islamist environments in the Frankfurt area, and one can therefore assume that they have been known to German security police. But it was not until the end of March suspicions were raised that the couple were planning a terrorist attack. Staff at a construction market contacted the police after the couple was there to shop.
At the construction market, the couple bought hydrogen peroxide, a substance that can be used to manufacture explosives. They claimed that they would use the substance to clean a garden pond, but they bought far more than what is normally used for cleaning. This led, together with the fact that the woman was wearing the full veil niqab, the staff at the construction market to react and contacted the police.
On Thursday morning a search of their home in Oberursel was conducted. There a variety of objects that strengthened suspicions that the pair planned a terrorist attack was discovered.
In the residence police found a working bomb, chemicals to make several bombs, a pistol, live ammunition and parts of an automatic weapon, and Islamist literature.
The evidence suggests that the pair planned an attack against the bicycle race Eschborn-Frankfurt that would take place on Friday. The classic race usually attracts a large audience and, of course, a prime target for terrorists who want to do as much damage as possible.
Despite the fact that the suspected terrorists were arrested, organizers decided, after advice from the police, to cancel the race. One could not know if a bomb already had been placed along the course or if the arrested terrorists had accomplices who are still at large.
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