German anti-terrorism police have arrested four Tajik nationals suspected of plotting terrorist attacks against American military bases in Germany.
The members of an alleged Islamic State cell were picked up in dawn raids at various locations in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The men, all citizens of Tajikistan, were identified only by their first names: Azizjon B., Muhammadali G., Farhodshoh K. and Sunatullokh K.
The group’s alleged leader, a 30-year-old Tajik man identified only as Ravsan B., has been in prison for the past 12 months on firearms charges.
German federal prosecutors allege that the men swore allegiance to IS in early 2019 and reportedly had contact with several high-ranking figures within the shattered terrorist organization who were based in Syria.
The terrorist cell was planning to carry out attacks in Tajikistan before switching their focus to Germany. The group were also reportedly targeting critics of Islam.
“Targets for the attacks were supposed to be institutions of US forces in Germany or even individual people,” prosecutors said in a statement.
In particular, they planned a murder attack on one person who had made public comments that they viewed as being critical of Islam.
Prosecutors claim members of the cell had purchased materials online with the intention of manufacturing an explosive device.
The group allegedly collected money in Germany and transferred it through wire networks in Turkey. It also allegedly carried out an attempted assassination in Albania as part of its fundraising activities, with Rvasan B. and Sunatullokh K. carrying out the failed attack.