One day after a van killed multiple pedestrians in Muenster, German police appear to have thwarted a series of planned knife attacks on Sunday’s Berlin half-marathon race. Reuters relays word from German newspaper Die Walt, which writes that authorities detained four men with knives under suspicion that they planned to cause mayhem and death within the crowd of race spectators and competitors. One of the suspects apparently held multiple weapons that were “especially sharpened for this purpose.”
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle adds that police are describing this as a “close call,” and police believe that the main suspect is linked to Anis Amri, the terrorist who executed the truck attack on a German Christmas market that killed several people in 2016. At this time, authorities believe that the main suspect was motivated to take revenge for Amri’s death, which occurred after he fled the scene of his attack on foot and was shot by police.
The Berlin Half Marathon attracted 36,000 runners on Sunday morning, along with an unknown number of spectators. Deutsche Welle notes that the main suspect in Sunday’s planned attack was under observation by police “for some time,” so police did not consider him a “concrete threat,” although the thwarting of the half-marathon plot appears to have happened at the eleventh hour.