A German SWAT team raided two buildings and searched several places in four districts in Berlin on Wednesday morning. As part of a crackdown on organized drug activity in the area, several buildings were searched, including a restaurant and one refugee center. Nine men were arrested: four of them were identified as radical and violent Islamists from Iraq and Syria between the ages of 18 and 41. Three of them had outstanding warrants for peddling cocaine and cannabis among other substances.
The Islamists had not been the initial target for the search, but the connection surprised neither law enforcement officers nor the public prosecutor's office. The culprit who committed a terrorist attack by driving a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin last December, Anis Amri, had been involved in the same drug scene and the same local mosque as the arrested Islamists. His drug addiction and peddling helped investigators with today's drug bust.
Organized drug crime in Berlin is committed by a considerable amount of Arabic clans and a lot of contacts there are forged with Arabic-speaking immigrants to expand their reach. The police are aware of Islamists in the area who use drug dealing as a means to self-finance.
These arrests come as a response to the aforementioned Christmas market terrorist attack and Senator Andreas Geisel praised law enforcement officers, claiming that the State Criminal Police Office is going after the criminals who endanger people's safety.