A Hamburg daily that reprinted satirical cartoons from French newspaper Charlie Hebdo was hit by arsonists at the weekend, raising security concerns in Germany on the eve of a planned mass rally against Islam in the city of Dresden.
Islamist militant attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher deli in Paris this week that killed 17 people have fuelled fears of similar assaults in other European countries and prompted a warning from German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
“I am very concerned about well-prepared perpetrators like those in Paris, Brussels, Australia or Canada,” he told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. There were about 260 people in Germanyregarded as dangerous Islamists, he said.
Bild am Sonntag said U.S. intelligence agencies had tapped conversations of senior Islamic State (IS) members in which they said the Paris attacks were the start of a series in Europe.
In Hamburg, two people were arrested after an incendiary device was thrown into a building of the Hamburger Morgenpost daily, setting some documents on fire, police said.
The Morgenpost had reprinted cartoons from Charlie Hebdo in a show of solidarity with the French weekly known for its mocking broadsides against Islam and other religions, and with the principle of freedom of expression overall.
The Hamburg newspaper said there were no people in the building at the time of the attack, and investigators were checking for any connection with the cartoons.
The 24-year-old German who was arrested is suspected of having joined IS during a stay in civil war-torn Syria from October 2013 until November 2014, a federal prosecutor’s spokeswoman said.
There were no indications that the man had concrete plans for an attack and there was also no connection to the Paris bloodshed, she added.
For the latest news follow us on Twitter
Join our Weekly Newsletter