Austria – A boy believed to be 12 years old has been identified as one of several people arrested and believed to be part of a suspected Islamic extremist network in Vienna, Austria, authorities said. While authorities have not released the boy's age, authorities said he is not old enough to be tried in court - a person must be 14 to be tried in Austria - and local reports say that the boy is 12. Authorities said that the young boy had been radicalised by a 'hate preacher' and was in close contact with a 17-year-old terror suspect who was arrested last week. On the 20 Jan 17 Austrian authorities arrested 17-year-old with a migrant background in a Vienna apartment on suspicion he had planned an attack. It is believed the teen, identified only as Lorenz K, had been in touch with jihadists in Albania. Authorities announced on the 23 Jan 17 that a 21-year-old was also arrested in Germany with connections to the attack plan. German security police arrested the man and a woman during a raid on a flat in the western city of Neuss on the 21 Jan 17 the regional Criminal Investigation Office (LKA) said. The woman, identified by local media as the man's wife, was later released. A spokesman for the Duesseldorf prosecutor's office said the 21-year-old suspect admitted during questioning that a 17-year Austrian with Albanian roots who was arrested in Vienna had visited him for two weeks at the end of last year, though the purpose of the visit was not immediately clear. Austrian officials initially said the Vienna suspect, who grew up in Neunkirchen, was 18. Police say that the 17-year-old Lorenz K was known for a history of petty crimes and assault. It is believed that he might have become radicalised while serving a year in prison from 2014 to 2015 for assault. The 17-year-old Lorenz K was transferred to Justizanstalt Josefstadt prison in Vienna on the 22 Jan 17. He turns 18 in the coming days. The 21-year-old and 17-year-old reportedly had experimented with making explosives in flat in Neuss. A search of the 21-year-old suspect's apartment in Neuss did not turn up any evidence of an imminent attack and no weapons or explosives were found, a prosecutor's spokesman said. Germany's Focus magazine said the man was planning a bomb attack on police and soldiers. Both he and the suspect detained in Austria had experimented with materials to create explosives in the Neuss apartment, it said. The Neuss arrest followed a tip-off from Austrian authorities, according to Frank Scheulen, spokesman for the LKA in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The man, whose nationality was not given, was arrested on suspicion of planning to carry out a 'serious act of violent subversion', Scheulen said. The Vienna suspect was arrested on the 19 Jan 17 on suspicion of plotting an attack in the Austrian capital. The Austrian authorities did not specify the nature of the intended attack but said the suspect had expressed support for Islamic State and had been in contact with jihadists in Albania. Austrian police were carrying out additional searches of homes and conducting interviews, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka told ORF radio, adding that the suspect was part of a 'communications network', without elaborating. A spokesman for the German interior ministry said German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere discussed the case with Sobotka on the 20 Jan 17. Scheulen said computers, mobile telephones and data storage devices were seized in the Neuss raid. Austria's director of public security Konrad Kolger said that the radicalisation of teens in the country is a 'relatively new phenomenon'.
Belgium – Belgian police on the 25 Jan 17 were holding seven people for questioning after raids in the Brussels region as part of an on-going counter-terrorism operation, prosecutors said. The searches of eight houses were linked to returning jihadi fighters from Syria and separate from investigations into the Islamic State attacks in Paris in Nov 115 and the bombings in Brussels in Mar 15 a statement said. "No weapons or explosives were found. In all, seven persons were arrested and taken for questioning," it said. Belgium is the EU country with the highest per capita number of fighters who have gone to wage jihad in Syria and Iraq, a figure estimated at 465. The authorities have tried for years to clamp down on their recruitment, fearing they will return home battle-hardened and even more dangerous. Belgium has been on high alert since the Paris and Brussels attacks, with investigators believing they were planned and carried out by the same IS cell based in the Belgian capital.
Germany/Da’esh – German police said they arrested three people in Berlin on the 31 Jan 17 suspected of trying to reach foreign “war zones” in order to train to carry out an attack. The suspects may be linked to ISIS and had “planned to travel to war zones,” likely Syria or Iraq, a Berlin police spokesman said. Police also carried out searches, but there has been “no indication of concrete plans to carry out an attack in Germany”, according to the Bild daily’s website. The suspects, whose gender was not immediately given, were aged 21, 31 and 45. He added that investigators suspect they were trying to reach a camp to train to launch an attack. At least two of the people arrested lived in Berlin, Bild reported. Those arrested frequented the same mosque attended by a Tunisian man suspected of ploughing a hijacked lorry into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12. The December 19 attack was claimed by IS. The mosque, which is being investigated by authorities, was also searched.
Germany/Tunisia/Da’esh – German police on the 1 Feb 17 arrested a Tunisian man suspected of recruiting for the Islamic State group and planning an attack, as they carried out sweeping raids in the west of the country. A total of 54 offices, homes and mosques were targeted in the dawn raids in and around Frankfurt in the state of Hesse, the prosecutors' office in Frankfurt said. The 36-year-old Tunisian is suspected of recruiting and leading a 16-member cell of the Islamic State jihadist group that was "planning an attack in Germany but which was foiled at an early stage without a target being chosen" it said in a statement. More than 1,000 police were involved in the raids, said Peter Beuth, the interior minister of the Hesse region. The operation came a day after police in Berlin arrested three suspected jihadists accused of planning to travel to foreign "war zones", likely to be either Iraq or Syria. The three frequented the same mosque attended by a Tunisian man suspected of ploughing a hijacked lorry into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12. The 19 Dec 16 attack was claimed by IS.
United Kingdom/Northern Ireland – A north Belfast gun attack that injured a PSNI officer was a planned operation with automatic gunfire sprayed across a garage forecourt, the chief constable has said. The attack took place on the Crumlin Road in Belfast. Northern Ireland's police chief has said gunmen who opened fire at a PSNI officer at a petrol station in north Belfast were likely hiding behind fencing across the road. The incident occurred on the night of the 22 Jan 17 at around 1930 hrs at Edenderry filling station on the Crumlin Road. The PSNI officer was hit at least twice in the arm after a number of shots were fire in a suspected dissident republican murder bid. The officer was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he is in a stable condition and is undergoing surgery. A 36-year-old man was arrested on the night of the 22 Jan 17. Mr Hamilton said it was unlikely that shots were fired from an Audi vehicle recovered by police in a drive-by shooting but it was more likely shots were fired from "behind fencing across from the garage". Mr Hamilton said the current political crisis and instability "does not legitimise" the attack.