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German police launch raids on locations of suspected Daesh militants

German police have carried out raids in connection with four young people suspected of having links to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

Prosecutors and police said in a statement on Thursday that the raids in the capital Berlin and the eastern state of Saxony Anhalt on Thursday came as part of an investigation into planned attacks by four suspects who are accused of being members of Daesh.

“The General Prosecutor’s Office in Berlin is investigating four suspects aged between 18 and 21 who are suspected of membership in a terrorist organization (Daesh) as well as of preparing a serious crime against the state,” said the statement, adding that some 130 officers, including special forces, contributed to the raids. It did not elaborate whether any arrests were made, but said electronic devices were confiscated.

Two of the three traveled from Berlin via Istanbul to Daesh-held territory in Syria in November 2016 while the third suspect is accused of receiving military training in the Arab country. The fourth suspect is believed to have helped the other three travel to Syria to join Daesh.

Meanwhile, local media said police had detained a number of people over links to Anis Amri, a Tunisian who drove a truck into crowds at a Berlin Christmas market on December 19, 2016, killing 12 people. The failed asylum seeker was shot dead by Italian police in Milan a week later.

Intelligence officials Germany have come under criticism over their failure in surveillance of would-be-terrorists, especially those fleeing the country to joint terrorist groups in the Middle East.

German authorities, like many others in Europe, now face a daunting task of ensuring security in cities and towns as thousands of nationals who have fought along the ranks of Daesh and other groups over the past years have begun returning home in droves following the purge of Iraq and Syria from militancy.

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