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Germany arrests IS suspects plotting attacks on US bases


Valin

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Apr. 15 2020

German prosecutors on Wednesday said four men had been arrested for plotting to carry out attacks in the name of the terror group "Islamic State (IS)."

The four men, originally from Tajikistan — along with a fifth individual who was detained last year — were believed to have been plotting attacks on US air force bases in Germany.

They were also suspected of carrying out surveillance of critics of Islam, prosecutors said, targeting them for future assassination.

Attacks had not been due to take place imminently, officials said, but the men had already procured firearms and ammunition.

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Arrests in Germany highlight reach of Islamic State’s Central Asian network

Thomas Joscelyn

April 20, 2020

Last week, German authorities announced the arrests of four alleged Islamic State members. The suspects — identified as Azizjon B., Muhammadali G., Farhodshoh K. and Sunatullokh K. — are accused of planning attacks on U.S. military facilities and personnel. All four are from Tajikistan, a country the former caliphate has long targeted for recruiting purposes. And the recent arrests highlight the global dimension of this Central Asian network.

According to a report by the Associated Press, German prosecutors say the quartet joined the Islamic State in Jan. 2019, well after the peak of the group’s strength. Their ringleader, another Tajik identified as Ravsan B., was jailed in Mar. 2019. But this didn’t stop their plotting. The accused first considered an attack inside their home country, but then shifted their attention to U.S. Air Force bases and “a person they deemed critical of Islam.” Their plot was allegedly financed with $40,000 Ravsan B. received for an aborted assassination in Albania.

The AP reports that the cell members “are alleged to have been in contact with two high-ranking ISIS figures in Syria and Afghanistan.” If this is verified, then ISIS has retained a command and control structure that is still capable of influencing or directing international plots — even though the organization’s plans are routinely foiled.

The role of Tajiks in this purported plot is noteworthy. The Islamic State has had cells in Tajikistan for years, while also recruiting Tajiks to fight in Afghanistan.

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