Europe

Media reports: Threatened attack on German mall linked to IS

  • Police guard in front of a shopping mall in Essen, Germany, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Police have ordered the shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open after receiving credible tips of an imminent attack.
The shopping center and the adjacent parking lot stayed closed Saturday morning as over a hundred police officers searched the compound.  (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)

    Police guard in front of a shopping mall in Essen, Germany, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Police have ordered the shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open after receiving credible tips of an imminent attack. The shopping center and the adjacent parking lot stayed closed Saturday morning as over a hundred police officers searched the compound. (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police guard near the shopping mall  'Centro' in Oberhausen, Germany, Saturday March 11, 2017. Police in the area have increased security measures after police have ordered a shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open Saturday after receiving credible tips for an imminent attack. More than a hundred police officers were searching the compound. Essen police said later that they were questioning a man and had searched his apartment in nearby Oberhausen. A second man was detained at an internet cafe in Oberhausen in the afternoon and police also increased their presence at a mall, the Centro, in that city, the German news agency dpa reported.   (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)

    Police guard near the shopping mall 'Centro' in Oberhausen, Germany, Saturday March 11, 2017. Police in the area have increased security measures after police have ordered a shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open Saturday after receiving credible tips for an imminent attack. More than a hundred police officers were searching the compound. Essen police said later that they were questioning a man and had searched his apartment in nearby Oberhausen. A second man was detained at an internet cafe in Oberhausen in the afternoon and police also increased their presence at a mall, the Centro, in that city, the German news agency dpa reported. (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police guard in front of a shopping mall in Essen, Germany, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Police have ordered the shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open after receiving credible tips of an imminent attack.
The shopping center and the adjacent parking lot stayed closed Saturday morning as over a hundred police officers searched the compound.  (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)

    Police guard in front of a shopping mall in Essen, Germany, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Police have ordered the shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open after receiving credible tips of an imminent attack. The shopping center and the adjacent parking lot stayed closed Saturday morning as over a hundred police officers searched the compound. (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

German news media are reporting that a threatened attack against a mall in the western city of Essen is linked to the Islamic State extremist group.

Daily papers Bild, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung and public broadcaster WDR reported Sunday, citing anonymous security sources, that a German fighter with the IS in Syria had contacted via online messenger a group of fighters — based in Germany and abroad — and tried to motivate them to attack the mall Saturday.

The mall, one of the biggest in Germany, didn't open Saturday. About 100 heavily armed police officers positioned themselves around the compound to prevent anyone from entering.

The apartments of two men were later searched in nearby Oberhausen and they were detained and interrogated. One was released Saturday, police said, with no details.