Knife attack at Berlin half-marathon foiled by police, 4 detained

Clay Curtis
April 9, 2018

German police have detained four men, one of whom they suspect of planning knife attacks at the Berlin half marathon, the newspaper Die Welt reports in its online edition.

Germany has been on high alert for a terrorist attack on a large sporting event since a football friendly against the Netherlands in Hanover was called off...

Police detained four men, one of whom is said to have possessed two knives that were specially sharpened on goal.

The daily Tagesspiegel reported earlier that a "foreign intelligence service" had warned Berlin police of the possibility of an attack on the half marathon.

The half-marathon was being safeguarded by a few 630 police officials, German news agency dpa documented.

The man had several run-ins with local police, including a time when he threatened his father with an axe.

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Still, "the attack sparked fears on a continent that has been hit repeatedly by attacks in which vehicles have been turned into weapons in crowded city centers", Mekhennet and Birnbaum reported.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller thanked security forces for preventing an "impending attack with their vigilance and police work". In one of the homes, search dogs indicated the presence of explosives, although police haven't released more details.

On Sunday, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said the government would do everything it can to protect citizens.

Amri escaped the scene of the crime only to be shot dead by Italian police on December 23.

He confirmed that the suspects arrested "might have planned something during the half marathon" but "we don't know what exactly".

Like other European nations, Germany remains a target for Islamist militant groups, in particular because of its involvement in the coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria, and its deployment in Afghanistan since 2001. Erick Kiptanui, of Kenya, won Sunday's race in a course record 58 minutes, 42 seconds, equalling the fastest time in the world this year, race organisers said.

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