German police apprehended three armed al-Qaida suspects on Friday in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The detentions were because of "a concrete and imminent" threat and have fulfilled expectations of a "Mumbai-style" attack planned in Western Europe.
The three Moroccan suspects, whose age and nationality have not been released, were apprehended with a "large amount of explosives," according to German news site www.bild.de. The site identified the trio as Abdeladim K. from Dusseldorf, Jamil S. from Essen, and Ahmed Sh. from Bochum.
The three suspects came to the attention of police through surveillance of their mobile phones and computer communications, an effort that began only on April 15th. Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, state police and foreign authorities were all involved in the investigation, according to Deutsche Welle.
The prosecutor's office in the southern city of Karlsruhe claimed that the three had been arrested on Friday and would appear before court on Saturday. A news conference at that time would provide additional information.
The scale of the planned attack has been compared to the 2007 arrest of the Sauerland terrorist group, Germany's most dangerous Islamist plot to date.