German police have detained two men during an investigation into a terrorist attack threat at a shopping center in the western German city of Essen, a police statement says. The mall remained closed on Saturday.
The local police department received a tip-off about the potential attack from another security service the day before, the statement adds, without naming the source. Police immediately cordoned off the shopping center, which is located at Limbecker Platz in downtown Essen, and ordered it closed.
"The shopping centre will be closed all Saturday due to security concerns. The police has concrete information regarding a possible attack," local police said in a statement published on social media.
The alert only referred to the Limbecker Platz in downtown Essen, the police said, adding that parking garages and the nearest underground rail station had also been closed
Law enforcement raided an apartment in the neighboring town of Oberhausen on Saturday afternoon and questioned the owner as part of the investigation. “Since 13:30 local time (12:30 GMT), police have been conducting a search in an apartment in Oberhausen. The apartment’s owner is currently being interrogated,” the statement says. One was questioned after a police search of an apartment in the town. Another was taken in for questioning from a nearby internet cafe.
The police gave no further details apart from saying the investigations in Oberhausen were linked to the Essen operation.
The attack was supposed to involve “several suicide bombers,” Bild magazine reported on Saturday, citing intelligence sources. . . While the police did not use the phrase “terrorist attack threat” in their statement, local media such as Spiegel or Die Welt are describing it as such.