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German Police Raid Homes, Refugee Shelters in Hunt for ISIS-Linked Jihadis

by Andy Eckardt /  / Updated 
A suspect is detained by police during a raid in Berlin on Thursday.FABRIZIO BENSCH / Reuters

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MAINZ, Germany — More than 400 police across Germany raided homes, refugee shelters and a bakery Thursday in a hunt for four suspected Algerian jihadists, including one linked to an ISIS training camp.

Berlin police told NBC News that two men were arrested in the raids, which were carried out in coordination with Germany's domestic intelligence service and involved bomb-sniffing dogs.

 A suspect is detained by police during a raid in Berlin on Thursday. FABRIZIO BENSCH / Reuters

A 35-year old man, sought by Algerian authorities on suspicion of ISIS membership and believed to have undergone military training in Syria, was arrested at a refugee shelter in Attendorn, North Rhine -Westphalia.

“A second suspect, a 49-year old Algerian, was arrested on suspicion of forging official documents,” police spokesman Stefan Redlich told NBC News.

Computers, mobile phones and notes also were confiscated in the operation, which included raiding a bakery in central Berlin.

A spokesman for the Berlin prosecutor’s office said authorities were following leads, which supported the suspicion that the men were “planning to prepare serious acts of violent subversion" in Berlin.

“We collected evidence which will be evaluated in order to see if the suspicion can be confirmed,” spokesman Martin Steltner told NBC News. “We decided that this was the right time to act."

German news agency DPA, citing security sources, reported that one of the four suspected jihadis — a 26-year old Algerian being sought in Hannover — had contacts to Belgian Islamists and had traveled to Brussels’ Molenbeek district.

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