BERLIN (AP) — German authorities on Wednesday arrested a man suspected of involvement in violence in Syria, a move triggered by the detention last week of a Syrian asylum-seeker who was suspected of planning an attack.
Police in the western city of Duisburg said the man was arrested in nearby Dinslaken, but gave no further details. North Rhine-Westphalia's state interior minister, Ralf Jaeger, said the arrest resulted from investigations following the asylum-seeker's detention, and that the man is suspected of involvement in crimes in Syria.
At this stage, "prosecutors are investigating several people in connection with possible acts of violence in Syria and possible vague attack plans here in Germany," he said.
Authorities said Tuesday that a 24-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker was arrested Friday in Mutterstadt, in a neighboring German state, after an unidentified witness provided information on possible plans for an attack.
Initial reports suggested that he was suspected of being a member of the Islamic Sate group and that threats against a German league soccer match were involved. Jaeger told reporters that the arrest resulted from a "vague tip" from someone who thought he or she had "heard something."
He said investigations so far haven't produced evidence that the suspect was a high-ranking IS member, and show that there was no "concrete attack plan" against a soccer match.
Separately, German prosecutors carried out searches Wednesday linked to three suspected supporters of IS.
The federal prosecutor's office said that three people targeted are suspected of seeking members and supporters for IS since last year, news agency dpa reported. One of them also is believed to have given the group financial and logistical support.
No arrests were made.
Jaeger said searches were conducted at five locations, including Duisburg, Dortmund and Duesseldorf in his state. He said they were part of a long-running investigation.
Germany has been on edge since IS claimed responsibility for two attacks in the country last month in which multiple people were wounded and the assailants both killed.
In two other attacks last month that authorities have said were not linked to terrorism, an 18-year-old went on a rampage at a Munich mall, killing nine people and wounding dozens, and a man killed a woman with a knife in the southwestern city of Reutlingen before being captured by police.