Four members of the terrorist organization Hamas have been arrested on suspicion of planning attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe. German prosecutors said this on Thursday.
Three of the suspects were arrested in Berlin and one in Rotterdam, according to prosecutors. All of them are said to have been members of Hamas for a long time and have ties to the network’s military leadership.
“The suspects were planning to bring weapons to Berlin to attack Jewish institutions,” the federal prosecutor said in a statement.
The arrests took place at lunchtime and the federal prosecutor’s office has now taken over the investigation. According to German media, the detainees were on their way to pick up weapons from an arms depot. Several apartments and a restaurant in Berlin have been searched by police.
At the same time, three people were arrested in Denmark on Thursday on suspicion of preparing for a terrorist crime. It is not yet clear if the German operation is linked to Denmark.
According to Israel, all of those arrested in Germany and Denmark have ties to Hamas. Danish police, however, suspect a connection to the criminal network Loyal to familia. Terror researcher Tore Hammings told DR that he is skeptical of Israel’s theory of a Hamas connection and says that terror in the West is not something that Hamas normally engages in or would have much benefit from.
Much suggests that the arrests in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands are connected, and that Israeli authorities have provided intelligence information.
Germany’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann commented on the arrests in a post on X:
“We must do everything we can to ensure that Jews in our country do not have to fear for their safety again.”
A little over a month ago, Germany banned the terrorist organization Hamas and the Palestinian network Samidoun from operating in the country.