Germany charges Syrian brothers over Sweden plot
German prosecutors Wednesday charged two Syrian brothers with allegedly planning an attack inspired by the Islamic State jihadist group at a church in Sweden over Koran burning incidents in the country.
The two brothers, identified only as 29-year-old An. K., and 24-year-old Ah. K., had been arrested in April and are in pre-trial detention.
The older brother had since early 2023 been planning a "bomb attack, whose aim is to kill and injure many people", said prosecutors.
On April 14, he allegedly told an unidentified member of the pro-IS Al-Saqri Foundation for Military Sciences that he planned to "carry out an attack on a church in Sweden where many people are assembled".
"With this, An. K. wanted to react violently to the Koran burnings in Sweden," said prosecutors.
At the time of his arrest, An. K. was in possession of two kilogrammes of urea fertilisers and acid, and was apparently waiting for the delivery of a bleaching agent with a high carbamide peroxide content.
With the components, the older suspect was preparing to build an explosive, although the details of his attack plans remained very vague, said prosecutors.
His brother Ah. K. is accused of having vowed "to carry out the suspected attack in the name of the IS".
He also allegedly helped his older brother with procuring components for the bomb.
Sweden, like neighbouring Denmark, has in recent months seen a spate of public desecrations of the Koran, including burnings, which have sparked widespread outrage and condemnation in Muslim countries.
Islamist extremists have committed several violent attacks in Germany in recent years, the deadliest being a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12 people.
The Tunisian attacker, a failed asylum seeker, behind the 2016 incident was a supporter of the Islamic State group.
In another case, an extremist and his wife were jailed in 2020 for planning a biological bomb attack in Germany with the deadly poison ricin.