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Germany Deports Native-Born Terrorism Suspects, In A First

When two men who were born in Germany but whose families are from Algeria and Nigeria were arrested on terrorism charges in February, police displayed items seized in a raid.

Two men who were born in Germany but don't have German citizenship will be deported to countries in North Africa, where their parents immigrated from, over suspicions that they were planning a terrorist attack. German officials say it's the first time the government is making such a move.

A federal judge has rejected the men's bid to avoid deportation. Police arrested the suspects, ages 22 and 27, in the city of Göttingen in a massive raid that involved 11 apartments and some 450 agents on Feb. 9. The raid turned up multiple black Islamic State flags and a range of weapons, including a machete to what looked to be replica flint-lock pistols.

From Berlin, Esme Nicholson reports:

"Investigations were dropped, but police argue the two men are dangerous. Lower Saxony's interior minister Boris Pistorius says discussions are underway with the suspects' parents' home countries, Algeria and Nigeria, to facilitate speedy deportations.

"He added that 'fanatics worldwide ... will face the full force of the law regardless of whether they were born here or not.' "

As Esme also notes, being born in Germany does not automatically convey citizenship. At the time of their arrest, both men were living with their parents.

"Local media said the deportation could take place quickly, and the men would be barred from Germany indefinitely," Deutsche Welle reports.

Security officials arrested the pair in Göttingen in one of a string of anti-terrorist operations. The year 2016 saw several deadly attacks in Germany, from a shooting at a Munich shopping mall that killed at least 10 people in July to a truck attack on a Christmas market that killed 12 people in Berlin in December.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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