Police have arrested two brothers on suspicion of planning to attack one of Germany’s biggest shopping centers, authorities said Friday, four days after a Takfiri killed 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market.
Police said they had arrested two men, aged 28 and 31, originally from Kosovo, and were trying to establish how advanced the plot was and whether other people were involved.
Acting on a tip-off from the intelligence services, police were deployed to the shopping complex and a nearby Christmas market in the western city of Oberhausen late Thursday, they said.
The mall that was targeted, CentrO, is one of the largest in Germany with around 250 shops that are usually packed in the run-up to Christmas.
The arrests come as police frantically hunt for the Tunisian suspect accused of ploughing a truck through crowds packing one of Berlin’s most popular Christmas markets on Monday.
The ISIL Takfiri group has claimed responsibility for the assault — their deadliest yet carried out on German soil.
Police commandos on Thursday raided three homes and a long-distance bus, prosecutors said, as they cast a wide dragnet for 24-year-old Anis Amri.
Police say they are certain it was Amri who steered the 40-tonne lorry after finding his identity papers and fingerprints inside the cab, next to the corpse of its registered Polish driver who was killed with a gunshot to the head.
Authorities have issued a Europe-wide wanted notice over the attack, offering a 100,000-euro ($104,000) reward for information leading to Amri’s arrest.
In Tunisia, a brother of the fugitive appealed to him to surrender.
“If he is listening to me, I tell him: ‘Present yourself’ so the family can rest easier,” Abdelkader Amri told reporters.
“If my brother is behind the attack, I say to him ‘You dishonor us’,” he said.