Germany: Arrests, raids against suspected IS supporters

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BERLIN (AP) — German police searched nine properties on Thursday in Berlin and the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt linked to suspected supporters of the Islamic State group, prosecutors said.

The raids involving 130 officers — including members of a tactical response team — were part of an investigation against four people on suspicion of membership in IS or preparing an attack.

Berlin prosecutors said two of the suspects are believed to have left Berlin in November 2016 to join IS, which was mainly active in Syria and Iraq at the time. A third is suspected to have undergone military training with the group. All three are still believed to be in IS-held territory, prosecutors said.

A fourth person is suspected of aiding the others by driving them to the airport. None of the suspects, aged 18 to 21, was identified by prosecutors.

They declined to comment immediately on a report by Berlin daily B.Z. that the suspects have been linked to Anis Amri, the Tunisian who killed 12 people in a truck rampage at a Christmas market last year. Amri was shot dead by Italian police days later. The attack was claimed by IS.

Separately, prosecutors in the state of Lower Saxony said Thursday that the police arrested two 21-year-old Palestinian men who had spread jihadi material and threatened online to commit attacks "in order to create a climate of insecurity and fear."

The men, who also weren't identified, were arrested Tuesday in the central German city of Salzgitter.

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