German police today arrested two men suspected of plotting a bomb attack, searching both their Berlin apartments and an Islamic Center they frequented, the AP reports. The men, a 24-year-old German of Lebanese descent and a 28-year-old Gaza native, came under suspicion when two chemical companies reported some suspiciously large sales of potentially explosive chemicals. Authorities then put them under surveillance for around two months before making their move.
The arrests come just days before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and ahead of a visit to Germany later this month by Pope Benedict. But authorities said they had no evidence the alleged plot was linked to either event, the New York Times reports. Police also stressed that neither the director nor the members of the Islamic center they searched, which is located in Berlin's heavily immigrant Wedding district, are under any suspicion. (Read more Germany stories.)