BERLIN (AP) — German police arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of being a member of the Islamic State group and planning an attack with a vehicle, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
The man, a German citizen identified by prosecutors only as Dasbar W., was arrested by a police tactical response unit in the southwest German city of Karlsruhe.
Prosecutors said that W. began distributing IS propaganda material online between April and July 2015, and trained others to hide their Internet address and use so-called messenger services. He allegedly traveled to Iraq in June 2015, where he joined IS, received firearms training and scouted targets for an attack in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil.
Prosecutors said in a statement that W. returned to Germany in July 2017, where he considered using a vehicle to carry out an attack on a site in Karlsruhe.
"For this purpose he scouted sites around the Karlsruhe Palace from the end of August 2017 and from September 2017 onwards he applied for various jobs as a driver with parcel courier companies, albeit without success," prosecutors said.
The suspect will appear Thursday before a federal judge who will decide whether to remand him in detention for the duration of the investigation.
The arrest comes a day after the anniversary of a truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people and injured dozens. The attacker, a Tunisian asylum seeker, was killed days later. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.