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Germany probes 180 over suspected jihadist links

German prosecutors have launched legal proceedings against 180 suspects linked to jihadist groups in Syria, the justice ministry said on Friday, a day after police arrested three Syrians suspected of planning an attack.

“The chief prosecutor is currently carrying out 120 proceedings targeting 180 suspects in connection with the civil war in Syria, for their membership in, or backing of, a terrorist organisation,” said justice ministry spokesman Philip Scholz.

Separately, the interior ministry said there were “499 potentially dangerous individuals in the field of Islamist terrorism”.

Federal prosecutors said on Thursday police had broken up a suspected terror cell which was planning to carry out a suicide attack in the western city of Duesseldorf for the Islamic State jihadist group.

Two attackers were allegedly planning to detonate suicide vests while the others were to kill passersby with guns and explosives on a major street in Duesseldorf, prosecutors said in a statement. The suspects were identified as 27-year-old Hamza C, 25-year-old Mahood B., and Abd Arahman A K, 31, who were arrested in the states of Brandenburg near Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Wurttemberg.

A fourth Syrian man, Saleh A, 25, had been in custody in France since turning himself in in February, they said, and Germany had now requested his extradition. 
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