Man held over Cologne Cathedral terror alert known to police

Man held over Cologne Cathedral terror alert known to police

The 30-year-old man being held by German authorities in connection with a planned terrorist attack on the iconic Cologne Cathedral was known to police in the south-western state of Saarland, security sources told dpa on Wednesday.

The Tajik man was detained on Sunday in the town of Wesel, some 100 kilometres north of Cologne after a police special unit searched a residence there, initially taking five men into custody.

Four were released, while the man was held to “avert danger,” they said on Tuesday, citing information relating to public order.

Police said they would not provide any information on the man nor his link to the cathedral threat due to their ongoing investigations.

The police increased security measures at Cologne Cathedral over the weekend owing to indications of a possible attack planned by an Islamist group for Christmas or on New Year’s Eve on December 31, dpa has learned.

Security was also increased at a church in Vienna, which was also reported to be a potential target.

While religious services continue to take place, the cathedral has been closed to tourists until further notice.

Cologne’s Cathedral, a major tourist draw located right next to the city’s central train station, is usually visited by more than 100,000 people between Christmas and New Year.

Source »