Germany probes Russia attack plot after dawn raids

This content was published on October 7, 2009 - 16:24

BERLIN (Reuters) - German prosecutors are investigating three suspected Islamists they believe were involved in planning to attack Russia, after police launched dawn raids on apartments in Berlin on Wednesday, officials said.
Police searched 26 properties in the German capital in the early morning but found no concrete plans for an attack, they said. No arrests were made, but prosecutors said they were conducting investigations into the three people.
"The investigations are directed against three suspected Islamists, aged 28-years, 30-years and 36-years, who are accused of agreeing to attack Russia," Berlin prosecutors said in a statement.
Prosecutors said they were acting on leads from abroad and from international police.
"The suspicion arose that a Berlin Islamist of Arab origins is the head of a suspected violent group of about 15 people which is planning terrorist attacks on Russia," they said.
Some 140 investigators seized computers, storage media and outdoor clothes and found clues leading them to believe that some members of the militant group had left Germany for training camps in Pakistan, said the prosecutors.
Newspaper Bild had reported on its website that the investigations were focussed on Chechens.
Prosecutors said there was no indication of any connection between the suspects and militant Islamist videos which were posted on the Internet in the run-up to a federal election in Germany on September 27.
The videos warned that Germany would pay a price if voters backed a government that supported the country's military involvement in Afghanistan, where about 4,200 German soldiers are deployed.
The Interior Ministry declined to comment on the case, saying it was a matter for Berlin authorities but a spokesman said the security situation had not changed in the last few days as there was no sign of any firm plans for an attack.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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