BERLIN — Police near the German city of Stuttgart arrested a suspected arms dealer as authorities nationwide step up searches and security in the wake of the Paris attacks and the lockdown in Brussels.
Officers made the arrest on Tuesday in a raid on the man's home during which they seized electronic devices now undergoing data and communication checks, Stuttgart prosecutors said on Friday. Authorities declined to comment on a report in Bild newspaper alleging the man supplied weapons used in the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.
German authorities are helping in the pan-European effort to trace those involved in the atrocity as suspect Salah Abdeslam, a French national born in Belgium, remains at large and the threat of additional attacks persists. Police in Berlin late on Thursday evacuated housing in the south of the German capital after finding a "potentially dangerous" device in the car of two men arrested during an operation against suspected Islamist extremists.
Special forces acting on evidence of a potential threat searched a cultural center in the Charlottenburg district on Wednesday afternoon. Police found the suspect device in the men's car and called in criminal forensics experts to examine it. The surrounding houses were evacuated as a precaution, according to the statement.
The two men, ages 28 and 46, were detained as part of the operation, according to a statement posted on the Berlin police website late on Wednesday.