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German Police Raids Target Islamist Suspects 'Of Chechen Origin'

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German police are conducting raids on suspected Islamist militants in four states, over allegations they have been plotting a "serious violent act endangering the state," prosecutors say.

"The searches are ongoing and relate to suspects of Chechen origin from the Islamist scene," the attorney general's office in Berlin tweeted on January 14.

Police were raiding properties in the capital, Berlin, the surrounding state of Brandenburg, as well as in North Rhine Westphalia and Thuringia.

The alleged militants are aged between 23 and 28 and "suspected of having scouted locations for a possible Islamist attack," Berlin police said in a statement.

The statement said that according to current information, "there was not yet any concrete danger of an attack."

A spokesman for Berlin prosecutors later said authorities acted after discovering photographs, including of a synagogue and a shopping mall, on one suspect's cellphone during a police check, AP reported.

German authorities are on high alert for Islamist threats after the country suffered several attacks in recent years, including a truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that left 12 people dead. The attacker, a Tunisian asylum seeker, was later shot dead by police in Italy while on the run.

Germany has since thwarted nine attacks believed to have radical Islamist motives, according to the Federal Crime Office.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP
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