The unnamed suspect, who allegedly established a network of supporters of the grotesque terror network, travelled to the country posing as an asylum seeker during the refugee crisis of 2015.
The arrest came as police stormed 54 homes, mosques and businesses in the state of Hesse in the early hours of the morning during an operation targeting Islamic extremists planning “serious state-threatening violence”.
Officials said the main suspect was a 26-year-old Tunisian man who has been wanted since August 2015 who is “alleged to have worked as a smuggler and recruit” for ISIS in Germany.
Alexander Badle, a spokesman for Frankfurt’s state prosecution service, said: “He had built up a support network in Germany.
Police arrested a suspect ISIS 'recruiter' in dawn raids
His goal was to carry out a terror attack in Germany
“His goal was to carry out a terror attack in Germany. There was not yet a target and no concrete danger.”
He added: “He is wanted in Tunisia for alleged participation in the planning and execution” of an attack in their country.
The man has been living in Germany from 2003 to 2013, before presumably leaving the country to return to Tunisia. He returned in 2015 and was arrested shortly after for a previous conviction of bodily harm in 2008.
He served 43 days in prison in Germany before Tunisian authorities had also requested his extradition, to question him over a terror attack in the North African nation.
The alleged ISIS fanatic was suspected of being involved in the attack on the Bardo Museum in the country in March 2015, which left 20 tourists dead, and an assault by ISIS militants on the border town of Ben Guerdane last year.
Tunisia issued a warrant for his arrest in June 2016, but, according to prosecutors, he escaped extradition from Germany after authorities failed to provide documents required for his deportation.
However, Tunisian authorities said they did not know the identity of the person arrested in Germany, adding that there were several people wanted over the Bardo attack.
Germany said the man was freed from prison in September, and because Tunisia had not submitted the required documents for the man’s extradition, he had to be released from temporary custody after serving the maximum period allowed under German law.
BORDER-FREE Schengen: Countries you can visit WITHOUT a passport
Mon, January 23, 2017
If you are an EU national, you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another. The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders.
1 of 25
A spokesperson for Frankfurt police said: “From immediately after his release until his arrest on February 1, the main suspect was watched around the clock.”
The suspect is one of 16 suspected ISIS supporters between 16 and 46 that German police have targeted in the four-month investigation.
Delays in paperwork also prevented the deportation of the ISIS supporter who carried out the Berlin terror attack on a Christmas market.
In a separate operation in Berlin, the focus was on the Fussilet mosque in the inner-city district of Moabit. The mosque was frequented by Anis Amri, the man responsible for the Christmas market attack in December.