Terrorist suspect to appear in German court ahead of extradition

The suspected ringleader of a terrorist cell that planned attacks in Berlin will appear before a German judge on Friday in order to pave the way for his extradition to Algeria, a court spokesman said.

The 35-year-old was arrested alongside his wife in a refugee hostel in the town of Attendorn Thursday as part of a series of raids across Germany that saw another alleged member of the cell apprehended in Berlin. Two other suspects were encountered in the raids but not arrested.

The man and his 27-year-old wife, who police say was not involved in planning attacks but may have served as an accessory, will appear in a court in Hamm, where a judge is likely to serve a detention order that will pave the way for extradition to Algeria.

Algerian authorities have a warrant out for the couple's arrest for their alleged membership of Islamic State.

Berlin police said they were planning Friday to release a photo of the suspect that would reveal further details about his links to terrorist networks in the Middle East.

The man was arrested during a raid in a gymnasium being used as refugee accomodation in Attendorn, where he had been living with his family for several weeks. Police say the man entered Europe via the Western Balkan route and attended a militant training camp in Syria.

Police said the youngest suspect - one of the two not apprehended by police - has links to an Islamist network in Belgium and travelled at least once to the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, where several perpetrators in terrorist attacks in Paris had lived or stayed.

Investigators have not managed to link the suspects to terrorist threats in Munich and at a friendly football match in Hanover.

The country's domestic intelligence chief said Friday that there is no imminent threat of a terrorist attack in Germany.

"There is no evidence of a concrete, imminent terrorist crime in Germany," Hans-Georg Maassen told public broadcaster ARD on Friday.

Last update: Fri, 05/02/2016 - 20:39
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