Syrians accused of terror plans detained in German raids

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While German media has stopped short of reporting the suspected target of the terror plot, British newspaper Daily Mail cites reports that the men meant to launch their attack against a Christmas market - meaning the plot could have been foiled with just days or weeks to spare.

The men were detained on Tuesday following large-scale raids in four cities involving approximately 500 officers led by the Hessian State Criminal Police and the Attorney General of Frankfurt, a joint statement by the two agencies said. The men, ages 20 to 28, had been posing as refugees, Mr. Hartwig said.

The plot had not yet advanced beyond the planning stage, prosecutors said.

An attack "had not been fully planned yet" according to the statement, but the suspects were believed to have been planning to carry out attacks with "weapons or bombs on a public target in Germany". They had arrived in Germany between December 2014 and September 2015, he added, a period when millions of refugees were heading to Europe.

The arrests are the second time this month Syrians have been detained on suspicion of planning a terror attack in the country.

It comes ahead of the December 19 anniversary of the lorry attack in Berlin that killed 12 people and injured 56 others.

After the fatal attack - and the shooting of the killer by Italian police after he was able to flee Germany - it has been revealed that German police missed multiple opportunities to arrest and deport Amri, but failed to do so.

Concrete barriers have been installed at markets across the country.



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