Authorities in Germany believe they were in ‘imminent’ danger of a terrorist attack after police arrested three suspected al Qaeda members.
The men are thought to be German nationals of Moroccan origin.
Federal prosecutors say police had been tracking the trio since April 15 over alleged membership of a terrorist organisation and other offences.
The arrests were made in the cities of Dusseldorf and Bochum.
There are indications, but no conformation, that the alleged cell was planning to bomb the Eurovision Song Contest, which is being held in Duesseldorf on May 14.
Germany has been on high alert since last November when US intelligence warned Britain, France and Berlin that a ‘Mumbai type’ attack was being planned.
All three are to appear in court over the weekend.