Terrorism Suspects Arrested in France, Germany Raids

//Terrorism Suspects Arrested in France, Germany Raids

Terrorism Suspects Arrested in France, Germany Raids

By | 2015-01-16T10:03:39+00:00 January 16th, 2015|More Top Stories|0 Comments

PARIS — More than a dozen terror suspects were arrested in European raids early Friday as authorities cracked on down on alleged Islamist extremists in the wake of deadly attacks in Paris and a shootout in Belgium.

Twelve people were detained in the French capital, the spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office told NBC News. She said the suspects were being questioned on whether they provided transport, weapons and logistics to the perpetrators of the three days of terrorism in the city that left 17 dead.

French authorities have vowed to track down accomplices to Charlie Hebdo gunmen Said and Cherif Kouachi and kosher supermarket hostage-taker Amedy Coulibaly, who were killed by on Jan. 9. Coulibaly’s common-law wife Hayat Boumeddiene is believed to have fled to Syria.

In Berlin, some 250 officers searched 11 properties and arrested two Turkish nationals in overnight raids. They were suspected of supporting and recruiting Syrian fighters and planning attacks in the Middle Eastern country.

The men detained were a 41-year old only identified by officials as Ismet D. and a 43-year-old identified as Emin F. “We believe that the men have been providing logistical and financial support to fighters in Syria,” prosecutor’s spokesman Martin Steltner told NBC News.

The Berlin raids were the culmination of a months-long investigation into the men, according to a statement by the Berlin Police. As well as allegedly recruiting fighters, the men are accused of providing significant amounts of money and military-grade equipment, such as night-vision devices, to foreign fighters in Syria.

Officials have found no concrete evidence of attacks being planned in Germany, the statement added.

Authorities in Paris said the Berlin raids were not coordinated with the French operations.

But Elmar Thevessen, a terrorism expert with NBC News’ German partners ZDF, said that a message was clearly being sent to “the Islamist scene that they are under surveillance after the Paris attacks.” He added that officials wanted to prevent “copycat attacks and get reassurance that they have not missed any attack plans.”

A day earlier, authorities in the northwest German state of Lower Saxony arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of having joined ISIS. He was identified as Ayub B., who is of German and Tunisian citizenship.

Germany’s attorney general’s office said in a statement that the man was suspected of travelling to Syria in May and returning to Germany in August. “He is suspected of receiving military training there and having helped to recover dead and hurt fighters from the battlefield during a military offensive,” the statement added.

On Thursday, Belgian police raided a town east of Brussels, killing two terror suspects in a dramatic shootout that was part of a crackdown on Islamist extremists returning from Syria. Some Jewish schools in Belgium were closed Friday in the wake of the operation.

NBC News’ Alexander Smith and Carlo Angerer reported from London. Charlene Gubash contributed to this report.