Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

German police detain three more suspects over ‘threat’ to Cologne Cathedral

A police vehicle is parked in front of the cathedral in Cologne, Germany (Sascha Thelen/dpa via AP)
A police vehicle is parked in front of the cathedral in Cologne, Germany (Sascha Thelen/dpa via AP)

Three more people were detained on Sunday in connection with a reported threat of an attack on the Cologne Cathedral over the holidays, German authorities said.

The detentions came only days after a 30-year-old Tajik man was detained in relation to an alleged plot to attack the world-famous cathedral by Islamic extremists in the western German city.

The suspects were detained in the western cities of Duisburg, Herne and Dueren in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and their apartments were also searched there. No details about their identities were released.

All the detained suspects — including the Tajik who was arrested last week — allegedly belong to a larger network that included people across Germany and in other European countries, according to Cologne police chief Johannes Hermanns, German news agency dpa reported.

Germany Extremism
The area around the cathedral was heavily guarded by police on Sunday (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)

The attack was supposed to have been carried out with a car loaded with explosives, dpa reported.

Cologne police said in a Sunday news conference that the cathedral’s underground parking garage had been searched and that explosives detection dogs had been deployed — but nothing was found.

Since the early morning, the entrance and exit of the underground garage had also been checked for suspicious activity.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s interior minister Herbert Reul called the detentions a “success, for which I would like to thank the investigators”.

Islamic extremists have always been active, but they are currently more active than usual, Mr Reul said, according to dpa. “The police always try to be a few steps ahead,” he added.

Police had received information about a planned militant attack on Cologne Cathedral shortly before Christmas. The attack was to be carried out on New Year’s Eve.

The city’s world-famous cathedral has been under high protection for a week and the threat led to the closure of the house of worship for tourists since Christmas Eve.

Usually, more than 100,000 tourists visit the cathedral in the last week of the year. In recent days, only worshippers were allowed to enter the building for Mass, but they had to go through thorough security checks involving sniffer dogs.

On Sunday evening, around 1,000 police officers were on duty around the cathedral as revellers began celebrating the end of 2023.

Mr Reul encouraged people to celebrate and not stay at home despite the attack threat.

“Islamist terror is still a threat on German streets,” he said. “We have often suppressed that. And whenever there is a one-off event like this, we are all very electrified again.”

However, it would be wrong to panic, said Reul. “I say: Celebrate! Behave yourselves! Take care — and enjoy the transition into the new year.”