Sunday, June 23, 2024

Germany arrested on suspicion of Hamas anti-Semitic conspiracy

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Police searched six locations in Berlin as part of the operation

German authorities announced the arrest of four Hamas members suspected of being involved in a plot to attack Jewish facilities.

Prosecutors said the suspects intended to store the weapons in Berlin because they could be used in attacks.

Danish authorities also announced the arrest of three people on suspicion of preparing the attack.

Danish intelligence said there was no direct link between the Danish and German investigations.

German prosecutors said in a statement that three Hamas-linked suspects were arrested in Berlin and one in the Netherlands. Hamas, which runs Gaza, is a terrorist group banned throughout Europe.

According to German media, he was arrested after police raided five apartments and a restaurant in Berlin.

German prosecutors said the three people detained in Berlin were Lebanese and Egyptian.

The fourth suspect, a Dutch national, was arrested in Rotterdam by Dutch police acting on information from German authorities.

All four are believed to be long-time members of Hamas.

German prosecutors said the four had “close ties” to the leadership of Hamas’s Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

It added that one of the four, named Abdelhamid al-A, had been tasked by Lebanese Hamas leaders with finding “weapons depots that the organization had secretly set up in Europe in the past.” .

“The weapons were to be transported to Berlin and stored in a ready state in case of a possible terrorist attack on Jewish facilities in Europe.”

Danish Police Inspector Flemming Drejer said the three suspects arrested in Denmark as part of an independent investigation will be charged with terrorism offences.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the threat was “this serious”.

Denmark’s PET security and intelligence agency later clarified that there was “no direct link” between the arrests in Denmark and those in Germany.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement to X (formerly Twitter) that the seven people arrested were “acting on behalf of Hamas.” But while Germany’s federal prosecutors have linked the plot to Hamas, Danish authorities have not said the organization is linked to their investigation.

Denmark’s Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said the alleged conspiracy “tragically confirms that Denmark’s Jews are under threat.”

Those arrested in Denmark were scheduled to appear in a closed court hearing on Thursday.

Ch Insp Drejer said the investigation had uncovered a transnational network of people with links to criminal organizations preparing attacks.

Security around Jewish sites will be stepped up and police patrols in Copenhagen will become more frequent, he added.

Danish Intelligence Director Anja Dalgaard Nielsen said the terrorist threat was linked to the Israel-Gaza war and the burning of the Koran in Denmark and neighboring Sweden.

The threat of terrorism in Denmark is currently at Level 4, the second highest of five levels. The PET security and intelligence agency says the main threat to Denmark comes from radical Islamists, possibly from “small groups or lone actors” inspired by propaganda.

Hummelgaard said the government has no reason to raise the threat level at this time.

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