Terrorist attack foiled in Düsseldorf. Three minors arrested

The three, aged between 15 and 16, are “strongly suspected of having planned an Islamic terrorist attack and of having undertaken to carry it out”, prosecutors said in a statement.

All three had also “committed to committing a crime: murder and manslaughter”, added the Düsseldorf prosecutors. Investigators provided no further details about the alleged plot, saying the investigation was ongoing.

But Germany's biggest-selling newspaper Bild reported that the youths were planning to carry out attacks with Molotov cocktails and knives in the name of the Islamic State. Their targets are believed to be Christian sites and police, according to the report, which said the suspects were also considering obtaining firearms. The country is also particularly concerned about security breaches as it prepares to host the European soccer championships from mid-June to mid-July. In January police arrested three people over an alleged plot against Cologne Cathedral on New Year's Eve.

Bild reported that the suspects were Tajiks acting for the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K), the same group believed to be materially responsible for March's deadly massacre at a Moscow concert hall. “The danger of Islamic terrorism remains acute,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said at the time, describing the Khorasan branch as “currently the biggest Islamic threat in Germany.” Islamic extremists have committed several violent attacks in Germany in recent years, the deadliest being the truck attack on Berlin's Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12 people.

In October, German prosecutors also accused two Syrian brothers of planning an ISIS-inspired attack on a church in Sweden. In December 2022, a Syrian-born Islamist was jailed for 14 years for a knife attack on a train in Bavaria in which four people were injured. According to a report by the federal domestic intelligence agency BfV, the number of people on the Islamic extremist spectrum in Germany fell from 28,290 in 2021 to 27,480 in 2022. However, presenting the report, Faeser said that Islamic extremism “remains dangerous ». Germany became a target for jihadist groups during its involvement in the coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria and its deployment in Afghanistan.