Four men allegedly part of a Hamas terror cell suspected of planning terror attacks against European Jewish institutions were arrested in Berlin and Rotterdam on Thursday, Germany’s federal public prosecutor’s office said.
The four suspects are “long-standing members of Hamas” and “are closely linked to the military branch’s leadership” of the Palestinian militant group, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
They are suspected of trying to acquire illegal weapons which were “due to be taken to Berlin and kept in a state of readiness in view of potential terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe,” the statement said.
German authorities have cracked down on some Muslim and Palestinian groups in the country after Hamas’ surprise attacks on October 7 killed around 1,200 people on Israeli soil. Germany has seen a rise in antisemitism since the war began.
In November, the German interior ministry banned the activities of Hamas, which was already listed as a terrorist organization, and dissolved the German wing of Samidoun, an international solidarity network for Palestinian prisoners which Berlin says is used as a cover to spread antisemitic propaganda.
In parallel, three people were arrested in Denmark on Thursday on suspicion of planning a terror attack, the head of the Danish intelligence service, Flemming Drejer, said in a press conference, according to public broadcaster tv2.
Drejer said the suspects had “ties” to organized crime, but did not specify if the arrests were linked to the ones in Germany and the Netherlands.
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