Three Syrians 'sent to Germany by IS', allege prosecutors
The three suspects were arrested in raids on Tuesday, as Germany looks to root out suspected IS sleeper cells, following a wave of militant attacks this year.
The men are accused of coming to Germany in mid-November on the orders of IS, and settled in Schleswig-Holstein in the far north of the country.
"[This was] in order either to carry out an assignment they had already received or to keep themselves ready for further instructions," federal prosecutors said.
In keeping with German privacy rules only their first name and initial was used - Mahir al-H., 17, Mohamed A., 26, and Ibrahim M., 18.
The three took the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece last year.
Mahir al-H. allegedly joined IS in Raqqa, Syria, earlier last year where received weapons and explosives training, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors allege that he and the two other suspects were ordered by an IS official for "operations and attacks outside the IS area" to travel to Europe.
They were given passports and a "high four-figure sum" of cash in US dollars and cellphones with a pre-installed communication programme, prosecutors said in a statement.
|Prosecutors allege that he and the two other suspects were ordered by an IS official for "operations and attacks outside the IS area" to travel to Europe.|
Six locations in two German states were searched on Tuesday, Federal Criminal Police Office said. Arrests were made and "extensive material" seized as evidence.
The office noted that the attacks in Paris and Brussels over the past year showed that rumours about IS implanting its miltants among migrants entering Europe could well be true.
It said that it knows of more than 400 tips about people among the migrants who might have a terrorist background, but most turned out to be wrong. However, more than 60 investigations were opened.
Last July, two attacks were carried out in Germany by asylum-seekers who arrived over the past two years.
Five people were wounded in an axe rampage on a train near Wuerzburg and 15 in a bombing outside a bar in Ansbach.
Both assailants were killed and IS claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Along with two other attacks in the same week-long period that were unrelated to Islamic extremism, they put the country on edge and stoked tensions over the arrival last year of hundreds of thousands of migrants.
Agencies contributed to this story.