Germany releases 6 suspected terrorists due to lack of evidence

German authorities release six Syrian men were detained on suspicion of plotting a terror attack.

Ben Ariel ,


German authorities on Wednesday released six Syrian men who were detained on suspicion of plotting a terror attack, saying there's insufficient evidence to keep them in custody, The Associated Press reported.

The suspects, all Syrian citizens aged between 20 and 28 who arrived in Germany as asylum-seekers in 2014 and 2015, were detained Tuesday in raids on eight apartments across Germany.

They were accused of preparing an attack on "a public target in Germany" that officials did not identify. Neither weapons nor explosives were found, noted AP.

German news agency dpa reported that Frankfurt prosecutors said Wednesday that checks on the men's cellphones had not immediately yielded strong enough evidence to keep them in custody.

Investigators also didn't find evidence that the suspects were members of the Islamic State (ISIS) group, though they do believe there are ties between the suspects and the jihadist group.

Germany has been on high alert following a series of attacks in the country.

In one attack, a 17-year-old Afghani with an axe attacked passengers on a train in Wurzburg before being shot dead by security forces.

In a second incident, an attacker set off a bomb in a restaurant in Ansbach, killing himself and wounding 12 others.

The most serious attack took place last December, when terrorist Anis Amri drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 48. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier this year, a Palestinian Arab man fatally stabbed one person and wounded six others at a Hamburg supermarket.

There have been several arrests of terror suspects as well. In June, German police arrested a teenage asylum seeker suspected of planning a suicide attack in Berlin.

In January, German police arrested a man accused of having ties to a suspected Islamic extremist who had been captured in Austria and thought to have been plotting an attack.