Tunisian IS suspect with 'mission' arrested in Germany

Tunisian IS suspect with 'mission' arrested in Germany
German police have arrested a 24-year-old Tunisian man suspected of plotting an attack for the Islamic State militant group, prosecutors said.
2 min read
16 December, 2016
Police previously foiled a Syrian refugee's plot to bomb one of Berlin's airports [Getty]

Germany has arrested a Tunisian man suspected of planning an unspecified mission for the Islamic State militant group, prosecutors said on Thursday.

The 24-year-old identified only as Charfeddine T. had joined IS before he arrived in Germany in October 2015, the prosecutors' statement said.

Prosecutors had obtained an arrest warrant against him on Wednesday, accusing him of membership of a foreign terrorist organisation.

The suspect had been in contact with an IS member in Syria responsible for running the group's operations abroad and had requested permission to carry out his mission, the statement said.

"Investigations so far have not confirmed whether it was to carry out an attack," said the federal prosecutors.

Germany has been spared the kind of large-scale extremist atrocities that hit Paris and Brussels.

But it was shaken by two assaults claimed by IS and carried out by asylum seekers this year - an axe rampage on a train that injured five, and a suicide bombing that wounded 15 people.

Police said in October they had foiled a plot by a Syrian refugee to bomb one of Berlin's airports.

Last month, German police carried out sweeping raids across 10 states in the country, in a probe against an Islamist group suspected of propagating hate and inciting 140 youths to fight alongside militants in Syria and Iraq.

The German army has also expressed concerns that its ranks might be infiltrated by jihadists.

In August German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that the German army was keen to introduce tougher security checks on recruits after disclosing that 64 potential jihadists were suspected of infiltrating its ranks, in addition to 268 right-wing extremists and six left-wing extremists.

A spokesman for Germany’s counter-espionage service (MAD), quoted by Sky News, said that recruiting offices had received a number of queries from people requesting to join the military for just a few months, expressing an interest in intensive weapons and equipment training.

In promotional videos the Islamic State has notably called on potential recruits to try to familiarise themselves with weapons before travelling to Syria and Iraq to join the extremist group.

Agencies contributed to this report.