Islamist extremists hide huge stockpile of weapons near German mosque
A HUGE stash of weapons reportedly belonging to Islamist extremists have been found hidden near a mosque in Germany.
The weapons arsenal was discovered during a top secret raid by a SWAT team in Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Local politician Ismail Tipi revealed details of the raid and warned of “the danger of fundamentalists”.
The weapons were found in a cold room of a greengrocer near a mosque.
The state is the most populous state in Germany with nearly 18million people in the area, which includes Dusseldorf.
Germany has seen sharp increases in the number of ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafists in recent years, with the total number of sympathisers now seen at 8,900, up from 7,000 at the end of 2014, German officials said.
He said: “According to my information, a weapons arsenal with war grade weapons was found in this search.
“The danger of fundamentalist Salafists who are ready to use violence arming themselves in Germany is very large. This secret raid finding this weapons cache makes this more than clear.”
Ismail Tipi raised concerns sleeper cells are gearing up for a terror attack on Germany
Three Syrian men were earlier this month suspected of planning large-scale attacks in Dusseldorf
He said: “The information about this is increasing. The fear is large that Salafist sleeper cells, jihadis, and ISIS terrorists in Germany get support from foreign intelligence services that are not friendly to us.
“Through the weapons arsenal, the sleeper cells and militant jihadis can be armed with weapons and prepare for their likely attack. This is exactly what I have always feared.”
He added: “Politicians must speak clearly about this.
“We must see this danger and deal with it as soon as possible. Those in charge of our security must look at this closely and share this information with all relevant security agencies.
“Politicians must be clear about this, report on possible dangers and threats, educate the people and call upon them to be wide awake and report every type of observations to the police. The problem of Salafism and IS-terrorism is always getting bigger when we don’t react. Here everyone has a responsibility.”
Security chief Hans-George Maassen and Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere
Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere welcomed gains made by a US-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but said they were not diminishing the risk of attacks in Europe.
He said: „On the contrary, we fear that Islamic State will externalise, transfer its activities to Europe, especially because of military losses in the region.”
Germany has been on high alert for possible large-scale militant incidents – potentially including military-style weapons – since the Paris attacks last November and Brussels in March.