• Lexi Ponder

Six suspects held in Christmas market plot released

On Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, six Syrian nationals who were arrested in raids by German police were acquitted and released due to lack of “sufficient evidence of a terror plot,” according to the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office. The men were originally suspected to have ties to a planned attack on a Christmas market in Germany.

In a combined statement, two agencies said that the men were arrested following a few “large-scale raids” in four cities, involving about 500 officers, on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. The raids were led by the Hessian State Criminal Police and the attorney general of Frankfurt. According to CNN, the original statement mentioned that the men were actually targeted for an investigation “into suspicion of membership in a terrorist organization and for preparation of terror attack.”

There was “no concrete evidence” to support the claim of them belonging to the terrorist group ISIS. However, according to official reports, there have been indicators that the six men have come in contact with ISIS, and some investigations are continuing.

The attack was not fully thought through or planned out, but the suspects were believed to be carrying out different attacks with “weapons or bombs on a public target in Germany.” According to CNN, a German intelligence official has said that the arrest of the men has “uncovered a possible terror plot on a Christmas market in Germany.” The intelligence official claimed, according to CNN, that the suspects “had been carrying out target reconnaissance” in Essen, Germany, where Christmas markets would be open.