German police have arrested a man suspected of involvement in violence in Syria, and have raided the homes and workplaces of three others suspected of trying to recruit supporters for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s state interior minister, Ralf Jaeger, said Wednesday’s arrest in Dinslaken resulted from investigations following last Friday’s detention of a 24-year-old Syrian asylum seeker in Mutterstadt.
Separately, German prosecutors carried out searches in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony on Wednesday linked to three suspected supporters of ISIL, but no arrests were made.
“The three suspects are believed to have tried to recruit members and supporters for the foreign terrorist organisation Islamic State between January and July 2015,” a spokeswoman from the Federal Prosecutor’s office said.
One of them is believed to have given the group financial and logistical support, she added, stressing that no further details about the case could be revealed since the investigation was ongoing.
Jaeger said searches were conducted at five locations, including Duisburg, Dortmund and Dusseldorf in his state. He said they were part of a long-running investigation.
Germany has been on edge since ISIL claimed responsibility for two attacks in the country last month in which multiple people were wounded and the assailants both killed.
In two other attacks last month that authorities have said were not linked to ISIL, an 18-year-old went on the rampage at a Munich mall, killing 10 people and wounding dozens, and a man killed a woman with a machete in the southwestern city of Reutlingen before being captured by police.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere will propose new security measures on Thursday, including speedier deportations and waiving doctor-patient confidentiality in some cases, German media reported.
“We live in difficult times. The terror threat is high, the police are overstretched,” he has said.