The investigators spontaneously made the arrests on Tuesday afternoon after the men were observed moving chemicals that could be used to make bombs from one storage location to another. Police believe that the men wanted to experiment in the coming days and weeks with the chemicals and possibly start building a bomb. They were, however, far away from making a bomb that could be detonated.
The choice of targets was also not yet fixed. As well as Frankfurt Airport and Ramstein Air Base, the men had apparently also discussed other locations such as a nightclub. The preparations for the attacks were, however, at an early stage.
Danish police arrest eight men with connections to al Qaeda.
According to PET head Jakob Sharf, six of the suspects are Danish citizens. "With the arrests, we have prevented a terror attack," Sharf told reporters. "Those arrested are militant Islamists with a connection to a leading al-Qaida person."
The suspects are of Afghan, Pakistani, Somalian and Turkish origin and range in age from 19 to 29. Sharf said they were "producing an unstable explosive in a densely populated area" and that authorities had waited until they had gathered enough evidence before moving forward with the detentions.