Police on Sunday (Dec 31) detained three further suspects in an alleged plot to attack Germany’s famed Cologne Cathedral on New Year’s Eve, authorities said.
The alleged attackers had planned to use a car to attack the 800-year-old Gothic edifice by the Rhine river, Cologne police director Frank Wissbaum told a news conference.
The method of the planned attack was unclear, but an underground car park below the cathedral had been searched with explosives sniffer dogs overnight, he told reporters.
“The three people are now securely in custody, which we are very glad about since they can no longer communicate with each other,” he said.
Wissbaum said investigators had found evidence late on Saturday that linked the three to a 30 year old Tajik man with alleged ties to the Islamic State militant movement, who has been in custody since Dec 24.
Federal authorities were continuing their investigation into what he termed a “network of individuals” from Central Asia with links to several German states and European countries.