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Over 5,000 Possible Targets Found in Germany Terror Raids | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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German special police forces. (Reuters)

The names of over 5,000 possible targets were found during terrorism raids in the east German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern last week, Die Welt newspaper reported on Friday.

The raids were carried out against the homes and workplaces of two terror suspects.

The list of names also includes over 100 politicians, said Die Welt.

Federal police officials seized two binders filled with names of over 5,000 people during searches of the properties of one of the suspects, an attorney and a local politician in Rostock, a northern city.

It said the politicians on the list belonged to a wide range of parties, including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

Die Welt, citing security sources, said one of the suspects, a former policeman who has since been suspended, is believed to have used his office computer to search out the addresses of political opponents.

German police on August 28 raided the homes and workplaces of the policeman and another person suspected of planning to capture and kill politicians because of their views on immigration, authorities said.

The Die Welt report marked the first substantial details that have emerged about the case.

At the time, the federal prosecutor’s office said the suspects, who feared Germany’s refugee policies would impoverish the country, had begun to stockpile food and ammunition and plan attacks.

The newspaper said there were no indications thus far of surveillance of the people on the lists, or of any concrete murder plans. Much of the information was publicly available, the paper cited the sources as saying.

In other terror raids in Europe, French police unearthed second stash of explosive materials near Paris on Thursday after a similar find in a nearby suburb on Wednesday, a justice official said as three suspects were questioned by anti-terrorism investigators.

Thursday’s swoop was carried out at a garage rented by one of the three detained in the wake of Wednesday’s raid on an apartment in Villejuif, on the southern edge of the French capital, the source said.

Materials used to produce TATP, an explosive often used by suicide bombers, were found at the flat after a plumber phoned police to report suspect activity there, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said.

Two people in their 30s and 40s were arrested in the immediate wake of Wednesday’s raid, said Collomb, who added that the suspects were being questioned on suspicion of terrorist activity despite talking of a bank heist. A third man was arrested overnight, a source said.

“Those under investigation spoke of wanting to blow up a bank with the TATP but they way we see it is they have links with terrorism, and this is the channel of investigation,” Collomb told public radio station franceinfo.

That line of inquiry was prompted by information found in telephone communications after the raid, he added.

The minister spoke before developments later in the day in which police found explosive materials at a garage in Thiais, southeast of Paris.

TATP, an unstable explosive, has been used by extremists in several attacks in western Europe in recent years, including Manchester in May, Brussels in 2016 and Paris in 2015.