German Police Launch Cross-Country Raids to Thwart Terror Attack

German authorities carried out raids across the country targeting groups of Chechens suspected of plotting a "serious act of violence," according to reports.

Approximately 180 officers were deployed to search nine properties in Berlin, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia.

All of the suspects are of Chechen descent, ranging from 23 to 28-years-old.

They are "accused of having spied on locations for a possible Islamist-motivated attack," the Berlin Attorney General's office explained in a statement.

"On suspicion of planning a serious violent act endangering the state, search warrants are being executed in Berlin, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia."

Authorities became suspicious after photos were discovered on one of the suspect's cell phones indicating he may have been involved in scouting locations, including a synagogue and mall, for a possible attack.

"The investigations are directed against several suspects originally from Chechnya in the Islamist milieu, and initially suspicions are that they might have chosen potential targets such as a shopping center or synagogue," said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for the Berlin public prosecutor's office.

"Under regulations, we were given an opportunity to intervene at an early stage, before a concrete danger arose."

Firearms, knives, cash, and electronic data were seized in the raids, according to officials.

Video translations and transcripts provided by RAIR Foundation.

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