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Cologne terrorist suspects released on lack of evidence

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Cologne terrorist suspects released on lack of evidence
Bonn state prosecutor spokesperson Fred Apostel. Photo: DPA
18:18 CEST+02:00
Two men arrested last month at the Cologne-Bonn airport under suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks have been released due to lack of evidence, the Bonn state prosecutor's office said on Tuesday.

The two men of Somali origin, Abdirazak B. (23) and Omar Ahmet D. (24), were thought to have been plotting imminent acts of terrorism. Police created a media sensation when they removed the men from a KLM airliner at the Cologne-Bonn airport and conducted a full search of the plane before it continued its journey to Amsterdam on September 26.

The men had been under police surveillance for some time and police said at the time they had found two suicide notes that mentioned “holy war” in one of their apartments as well as suspicious text messages.

But over the weekend it became clear that evidence against the suspects was thin. A suicide note was found to be a love letter, and searches found no weapons, ammunition or other dangerous objects in their homes.

The two men, however, remain under suspicion of committing another crime, Bonn state prosecutor spokesperson Fred Apostel said, adding that the investigation continues despite the suspects' release.

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