Austria arrests Iraqi over German train attacks


BERLIN (AP) — Austrian authorities have arrested an Iraqi man suspected of carrying out unsuccessful attacks on trains in neighboring Germany last year and sympathizing with the Islamic State group, officials in the two countries said Wednesday.

The 42-year-old was arrested on Monday in Vienna, where he lives. Vienna prosecutors said he is suspected of “carrying out terrorist attacks on railway lines in Germany in October and December 2018.”

In early October, a high-speed train hit a steel cable stretched over the tracks between electrification masts on the Nuremberg-Munich line. A window in the driver’s cab was damaged but no one was injured. An Arabic-language note, which investigators have described as threatening but unspecific, was found nearby as well as other documents suggesting a link to IS.

At Christmas, police found damage to overhead wires on a railway line in Berlin’s eastern suburbs as well as a note in Arabic and an IS flag.

Prosecutors and police in Berlin and Bavaria said in a joint statement that the Iraqi man is suspected of attempted murder, causing serious damage to property, membership in a terrorist organization and dangerous interference in railway traffic.

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