German police foil Berlin half-marathon attack plan

  • German police foil Berlin half-marathon attack plan

German police foil Berlin half-marathon attack plan

A record of 36,000 athletes entered the 38th edition of the Berlin half-marathon, the largest in Germany.

Police detained four men, one of whom is said to have possessed two knives that were specially sharpened on objective.

Berlin police were not immediately available for comment.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller thanked security forces for preventing an "impending attack with their vigilance and police work".

German news agency dpa reported that police confirmed arrests in connection with the half-marathon but gave no further details.

Seehofer was speaking in Muenster, where a man drove a camper van into a group of people sitting outside a restaurant on Saturday, killing two of them before shooting himself dead.

In its unsourced report on Sunday, Die Welt says the main suspect was known to Amri and had planned to stab to death spectators and runners at the half marathon.

The main suspect was said to have had two sharpened blades when he was arrested alongside the other suspects hours before the race, which attracted 32,000 runners, the most in its history. Amri was shot dead four days after the terror attack.

The main suspect allegedly knew Anis Amri, a Tunisian who killed 12 people and injured dozens more when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016, Die Welt reported. And it confirmed suspicion of a link between one of the suspects and Amri.

Still, the German anti-terror apparatus has been bolstered in the last two years.

Last month, a 26-year-old Palestinian asylum seeker was sentenced to life in prison for murdering one man and wounding six other people with a knife in a Hamburg supermarket in July, in what the court called an Islamist attack.

Germany's security services estimate there are around 10,000 Islamist radicals in Germany, some 1,600 of whom are suspected of being potentially violent.