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European authorities capture several suspected Hamas terrorists, foil terror plot
A Hamas terrorist. Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

European authorities capture several suspected Hamas terrorists, foil terror plot

German and Dutch officials captured four Hamas terrorists believed to have been plotting an attack on European soil. The men arrested Thursday are said to have been specifically targeting "Jewish institutions in Europe."

While these arrests coincided with Denmark's apprehension of another four suspected terrorists, Danish authorities told CNN there is "no direct connection."

The federal public prosecutor's office in Berlin indicated that two of the suspects captured in Germany, Abdelhamid Al A. and Ibrahim El-R., are from Lebanon. Mohamed B., an Egyptian national, was also caught in Berlin.

Nazih R., supposedly a Dutch national, was the lone Hamas member captured by Dutch police in Rotterdam.

Prosecutors indicated the four men "have been long-standing members of HAMAS and have participated in HAMAS operations abroad. They are closely linked to the military branch's leadership. This included Khalil Hamed Al Kharraz, the second in command at the 'Izz al-Din al-Qassem' Brigades."

Kharraz, also known as Abu Klaled, was successfully eliminated by an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon late last month along with three other terrorists. Hezbollah-aligned Lebanese media indicated Kharraz assisted with the Oct. 7 terror attacks on Israel, "leaving behind a legacy for the Resistance."

German officials noted that Abdelhamid, taking orders from terrorists in Lebanon, began searching for an underground weapons depot in Europe earlier this year. In October, Abdelhamid, joined by Mohamed and Nazih, made multiple trips to and from Berlin in search of the weapons with Ibrahim "providing assistance."

The weapons they were tasked with collecting were "to be taken to Berlin and kept in a state of readiness in view of potential terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe."

German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann thanked everyone involved in capturing the suspects, stating, "We must do everything we can to ensure that Jews in our country do not have to fear for their safety again."

Israeli intelligence agencies commended the "successful counter-terrorist operation" in a joint statement.

The Mossad and Shin Bet further suggested that while foiled, the apparent terror plot demonstrates how "Hamas has striven to expand its operational capabilities around the world, especially in Europe, in order to realize its aspirations to attack Israeli, Jewish and Western targets at any price."

These arrests come just days after the Dutch counterterrorism agency raised the country's threat alert to its second-highest level. The national coordinator for the agency noted "the violent conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Quran desecrations in various European countries and calls for attacks from terrorist organizations have increased the threat from jihadism."

Denmark also announced arrests of potential terrorists on Thursday.

Two male suspects, ages 57 and 29, and a 19-year-old woman were captured inside the country. A fourth, scheming to execute "an act of terror," was captured in the Netherlands, reported the Associated Press.

The elder male — a migrant who prosecutors indicated knows his way around "gang environment" — and the woman will remain in custody until a Jan. 9 hearing. The younger male was cut loose.

Danish prosecutor Anders Larsson told Danish media that an additional four suspects were charged despite not being present.

Officials in Copenhagen indicated the arrests had "threads abroad" and were connected to "criminal gangs." Despite the officials' vagueries, the operative head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service let slip that police had "a special focus" on Jewish institutions.

"This is extremely serious," said Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. "It is of course completely unacceptable in relation to Israel and Gaza, that there is someone who takes a conflict somewhere else in the world into Danish society."

Frederiksen stressed the incident was "about as serious as it can be."

"There are people who live in Denmark who do not wish us well. Who are against Danish society and everything we believe in. Happiness. Democracy. Freedom. Equality," she added.

There are reportedly multiple suspects still at large.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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