German police said Saturday they had at large two brothers suspected of planning an Mall attack on one of the country’s biggest shopping centres, citing a lack of proof. The two men, aged 28 and 31 and originally from Kosovo, were under arrest yesterday as Germany was on high alert following a jihadist attack on a Berlin Christmas market earlier in the week.
But police in the western city of Essen said in a statement that “despite careful search” the allegations against the pair could not be substantiated. Police had acted on a tip-off from cleverness services that claimed the duo was planning to target the CentrO mall in the nearby city of Oberhausen.
“After it was recognized today that there were no pertinent criminal findings against the two persons and there was no real danger, they were released from police care this afternoon,” the statement said. The arrest of the brothers made headlines around the world, coming just four days after 12 people were killed and dozens injured when an attacker herd a truck into a crowded Berlin Christmas market.
The major suspect in that attack, Tunisian Anis Amri, was killed in a shoot-out with police in Italy yesterday.