Berlin authorities say they have successfully investigated a reported terrorist plot and cleared the suspects. Germany has been cracking down with preventative measures in the wake of several deadly terrorist attacks in recent years.
Police said Monday that they have released six men aged 18 to 21 who were detained on Sunday in response to reports of a “violent crime” being planned at the Berlin half marathon, The Local de reported. Their homes and vehicles were searched, and no evidence of weapons or explosives was discovered.
Catch me up:
In December 2016, a Tunisian refugee hijacked a truck and plowed it into a crowd in a Berlin Christmas market, murdering 11 people and wounding dozens more. Germany has been on high alert for a while, with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer calling Sunday’s investigation a “very tense security situation” since the country wants to be prepared for a terrorist attack at any time.
What did police say initially?
Reports about the supposed terror plot have been conflicting. German newspaper Die Welt reported that the main suspect had connections to the man who committed the Berlin Christmas market mass murder in 2016. The paper also claimed that he planned to use “two specially sharpened knives” to attack the crowd at the Berlin half marathon.
Police said Sunday that they had received "isolated indications that those arrested (on Sunday) between the ages of 18 and 21 may have been involved in planning a violent crime in connection” with the marathon; however, they have since backed away from that claim.
Fortunately, this terror report didn’t turn out to be an attack. But when a man drove a van into a crowd of people in Muenster, Germany on Saturday, it’s no wonder that Berlin authorities are on edge.