Six arrested in Berlin after police foil alleged half marathon attack

Six men aged between 18 and 21 were arrested after police foiled an alleged knife attack ahead of a half marathon in Berlin

 A German police officer stands guard during Berlin's half-marathon. (photo: The Guardian)
A German police officer stands guard during Berlin's half-marathon. (photo: The Guardian)

Six people were detained in Germany on Sunday, after police foiled an alleged knife attack during a half marathon in Berlin.

Police arrested the men, who are aged between 18 and 21, after carrying out extensive searching in the area.

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.

“There were isolated indications that those arrested, aged between 18 and 21 years, were participating in the preparation of a crime in connection with this event,” prosecutors and police wrote in a joint statement. Berlin police tweeted that six people were detained in cooperation with the city prosecutor’s office.

One of the apartments Berlin police raided before the race, was also searched after the 2016 attack, the paper said.

The suspect had in his possession two knives which had been sharpened.

The local newspaper Tagesspiegel reported that the main suspect had been under around-the-clock observation for two weeks. Police raided apartments and two vehicles in the Charlottenburg and Neukoelln districts of the city after a foreign intelligence service tipped off German authorities that he was planning to attack the half-marathon.

A record of 36,000 athletes entered the half marathon with thousands of people lining the streets, which ended with no reported incidents.

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