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Two held in Berlin terror raids

Berlin police say they have taken two men into custody on suspicion they were recruiting fighters and procuring equipment and funding for the so-called Islamic State terrorism group in Syria.

The two were picked up today in a series of raids on the German capital involving the search of 11 residences by 250 police officers.

Authorities said the raids were part of a months-long investigation into a small group of extremists based in Berlin.

The group's leader, identified only as 41-year-old Ismet D in accordance with privacy laws, is accused of organising the group of largely Turkish and Russian nationals to fight against "infidels" in Syria. Emin F, 43, is accused of being in charge of finances.

Police say there's no evidence they were planning attacks inside Germany.

The head of European Union police agency Europol later said the large number of radicalised Muslim extremists across Europe, their lack of command structure and growing sophistication make it "extremely difficult" for law enforcement agencies to foil every terror attack.

Rob Wainwright said Europe needs to co-operate more closely to prevent attacks like last week's deadly rampage in Paris.

He added: "The scale of the problem, the diffuse nature of the network, the scale of the people involved makes this extremely difficult for even very well-functioning counter-terrorist agencies ... to stop every attack."

Mr Wainwright said at least 2,500 and possibly up to 5,000 suspects have travelled from Europe to conflicts in Syria and Iraq.


From Belfast Telegraph