On the brink of New Year’s Eve 2023, German law enforcement thwarted an alleged Islamic plot to attack the iconic Cologne Cathedral, with three suspects detained. The suspects, linked to a 30-year-old Tajikistan man with reported ties to the Islamic State, had plans to wield a car as a weapon, steering it into the historic 800-year-old Gothic cathedral nestled by the Rhine river.
BNN The three Muslim individuals, whose identities have been kept confidential, were apprehended in Duisburg, Herne, and Noervenich. Their communication devices were confiscated during the apartment searches, revealing a web of connections across Germany and other European countries. The ongoing federal investigation is focused on exposing a network of individuals originating from Central Asia, whose allegiances seem to span far and wide.
The attack was supposed to have been carried out with a car loaded with explosives, local media reported.
In response to the threat, Cologne Police Director Frank Wissbaum announced that an underground car park beneath the cathedral was thoroughly inspected with explosives sniffer dogs. The cathedral, a beacon of Christian faith and a testament to Germany’s rich history, has been fortified with enhanced security measures. Police officers, armed with machine guns and encased in body armor, now maintain a vigilant watch over the cathedral, ensuring the safety of worshippers and tourists alike.
While Cologne grapples with this imminent threat, Berlin is also on high alert. Police patrols have been ramped up in anticipation of New Year’s Eve festivities, a precautionary step following the previous year’s violent incidents. A ban on a pro-Palestinian demonstration further highlights the city’s heightened security measures.