Massive raids against suspected Islamist militants were carried out by hundreds of officers in Germany today, including two refugee homes.
The raids were carried out to prevent ‘severe acts of violence’, according to police.
Experts say Germany is long overdue a terrorist attack by jihadists because of its support for military operations against the group in Iraq and Syria.
Two of the addresses searched were an asylum seeker’s centre in Hanover and another in Attendorn in the Sauerland region.
One of the arrested men in Berlin had registered his address as an asylum seeker’s residence.
Critics have long argued that Chancellor Merkel’s open door policy towards refugees could allow terrorists to come into Germany posing as refugees from war and terror.
If the suspects registered in the centres are indeed ISIS sympathisers or supporters, the pressure on her to reverse her policies will only increase.
Berlin was the centre of the operation where police swooped on four apartments and two business premises.
Police spokesman Stefan Redlich said four Algerians were being sought for their suspected links with ISIS terrorists in Syria.
Berlin police said the four ‘from the jihad scene are under investigation over suspicions that they are planning a serious act threatening the security of the state.’
A woman and two Algerian men for whom there were existing arrest warrants, have been taken into custody.
One of the men arrested is wanted for belonging to ISIS by the Algerian authorities who say he was trained at a terror camp in Syria.
‘Investigations show that he has been trained militarily in Syria,’ police said in a statement.
The second Algerian was arrested for having falsified identity documents.
During the searches computers, mobile phones and records were seized.
A total of 450 police officers were deployed in the operation.
Apartments in the heavily immigrant areas of Kreuzberg, Tempelhof and Berlin-Mitte were ransacked in the hunt for clues tying the suspects to ISIS.
‘Before we can draw more conclusions, we have to wait for the investigation of the public prosecutor’s office and the evaluation of the seized objects’, said Berlin’s interior senator Frank Henkel.
‘We have still every reason to be vigilant and careful.’
Since the November Paris attacks in which IS gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Paris nightspots, killing 130 people, German authorities have issued terrorism alerts on several occasions.
In November, a Germany-Netherlands football match was called off and on New Year’s Eve, several Munich subway stations were closed over such threats.