MAINZ, Germany — Four suspected ISIS members who were plotting to attack U.S. military facilities and other targets have been arrested in Germany, prosecutors in the country said Wednesday.
Specialist tactical police units swooped on the suspects in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, arresting the men who were all originally from Tajikistan, the prosecutors said in a statement.
The suspects, named as Azizjon B., Muhammadali G., Farhodshoh K. as well as Sunatullokh K., were arrested near the cities of Essen and Duesseldorf, the statement added.
A fifth man, Ravsan B., who was already in custody, was also arrested. Their last names were not released for privacy reasons, in keeping with German law.
State Interior Minister Herbert Reul said in a statement that the group had spied on two U.S. air bases.
He added that they “had already bought weapons and ammunition” and “in addition, one suspect has knowledge how to make explosives.”
He added: “This shows that the suspects were very serious about their attacks."
Prosecutors said individual people were also targeted by the group.
"In particular, they planned a murder attack on one person who had made public comments that they viewed as being critical of Islam," they added.
The group had contacted “high ranking” ISIS members in Syria and Afghanistan, the statement said.
Having initially planned to carry out attacks in Tajikistan, prosecutors alleged that they later changed their target to Germany, where they raised money to finance their operations before transferring it to Turkey.
They added that Ravsan B. had also tried to take $40,000 to murder someone in Albania.