9 April 2018Hot off the Press
Image Credit: John MacDougall (L’Agence France-Presse)
German authorities have foiled a knife attack planned to take place at the half-marathon in Berlin on Sunday.
Berlin police tweeted that state security have detained six suspects, aged between 18 and 21, after conducting searches and raids through districts Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Neukoelln.
Unser Staatsschutz führte heute gemeinsam mit der @GStABerlin Durchsuchungen im Stadtgebiet durch. Hierbei kam es zu 6 Festnahmen. Weitere Informationen folgen.
— Polizei Berlin (@polizeiberlin) April 8, 2018
Die Welt newspaper released an unsourced report saying that one suspect had in possession two knives that had been especially sharpened for the event in order to stab to death spectators and runners.
The main suspect is reported to have links to Anis Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian connected to Islamist militants who killed 12 people and injured 56 others at a Christmas market in Berlin on 16 December 2016 by deliberately driving a truck through crowds. Fleeing the scene on foot, Amri was shot by authorities several days later.
One of the apartments that was searched prior to the half-marathon was also searched shortly after the Christmas market attack, Die Welt further reported.
One of the most popular annual sporting events in Germany, the half-marathon was host to a record 36,000 athletes, thousands of spectators and an estimated 630 guards provisioning the event.
Berlin’s mayor, Michael Müller, released a statement on Twitter thanking security forces, commending their efforts which “ensured that the #Halbmarathon event could take place without any incidents and can be celebrated as a peaceful sporting occasion.”
"Ich bedanke mich bei den Sicherheitskräften und der @polizeiberlin. Sie haben mit Ihrem Einsatz dafür gesorgt, dass der #Halbmarathon ohne Zwischenfälle stattfinden konnte und als friedliches sportliches Ereignis gefeiert werden kann", so der Reg. Bürgermeister Michael Müller pic.twitter.com/KbtOaNM2Ij
— Senatskanzlei Berlin (@Senatskanzlei_B) April 8, 2018