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German Police Stage Raids in Suspected Islamist Model-Plane Plot

German Police Stage Raids in Suspected Islamist Model-Plane Plot
Police confiscate material found during a raid on a flat in Munich. Photographer: Peter Kneffel/AFP via Getty Images

German authorities carried out raids on suspected Islamists who may have planned to use satellite-guided model airplanes to carry out terrorist attacks, a Federal Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman said.

“We have carried out searches with the Stuttgart prosecutor on suspicion of preparing serious violence threatening the state and money laundering,” spokeswoman Angelika Walther said by telephone from Karlsruhe. Raids were carried out in the Stuttgart and Munich areas as well as in eastern Saxony state and Belgium, she said.

Walther confirmed a report by public broadcaster SWR that special-forces units were deployed with police on suspicion of possible terrorist preparations by Islamists. Some of those being investigated are from Tunisia and study at Stuttgart University, where they developed methods to fly model aircraft guided by the Global Positioning System, SWR said. Documents and technical equipment have been seized, SWR said.

Nine apartments and other sites were raided in both Germany and Belgium, the prosecutor’s office said in an e-mailed statement. About 90 police officers took part in the raids in Germany, according to the statement, which said two suspects are of “Tunisian origin.”

Separately, the Stuttgart public prosecutor is investigating men who transferred money and are suspected of money laundering to support extremists, SWR said.

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