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BERLIN – 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.