German police search homes of suspected Islamists in Cologne, Dueren

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A police operation is underway in the homes of suspected Islamists in the western German cities of Cologne and Dueren on Thursday, according to the Cologne police.

The searches started at 4 a.m. local time (2:00 GMT), the police statement, published on Presseportal.de, said.

The operation was launched after security agencies shared with the police information suggesting that the suspects were engaged in possible terrorist activity.

The investigation, the police note, centres around an apartment in Dueren, in which law enforcement officers are looking for “specific evidence” indicating that the suspects were planning a terror attack.

At least five of the 13 incidents were planned to take place in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the Rheinische Post reported in April.

These included a planned 2011 bomb attack and a firearm attack in the state capital of Düsseldorf by the so-called Düsseldorf Cell.

The figures also include the failed bomb attack at Bonn Central Station in 2012 and the thwarted attack on the chairman of the Pro NRW party (a far-right political party in NRW) as well as a case in Cologne last year.

Only recently in March, eleven people were arrested after a series of raids across the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse in relation to an upcoming terror plot.

Police told the media that the goal of the attack was to “kill as many ‘infidels” as possible” through the use of firearms and vehicles.

A team of more than 200 police carried out raids in several German cities early on a Friday morning.

The police would not reveal the planned date of the attack, but they alleged that the attack was well past the planning stage.

The Islamist group had already organised to rent a large vehicle, while money had been raised and weapons dealers had been contacted.

The search found a wealth of evidence in relation to the planned attack, including €20,000 in cash, several knives, narcotic drugs, and computer files.

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