German police arrest suspected militants as Berlin gears up for Obama visit

BERLIN (Reuters) - Police arrested four suspected Islamists in dawn raids in Berlin on Wednesday as the German capital geared up for a long weekend of mass gatherings, capped by a joint appearance by Chancellor Angela Merkel and former U.S. president Barack Obama.

Police said the raids targeted a gang of armed drug smugglers and nine arrests had been made, four of which were men from the "violent Islamist" scene. None were linked to the Manchester bomb attack which killed 22 people on Monday.

However, a senior politician promised security would be reviewed in the wake of the attack, as the German capital braces for some 100,000 extra visitors over the next few days, but that plans were in place for any such eventuality.

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ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama smiles during a conversation at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with youth leaders at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago to discuss strategies for community organization and civic engagement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
MUMBAI, INDIA - NOVEMBER 7, 2010: US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle wave as they board Air Force One to depart for New Delhi from Chattrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai on Sunday. President Barack Obama left the Indian city of Mumbai for New Delhi. (Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Malia Ann Obama seen out in Manhattan on April 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Malia Ann Obama is seen in Tribeca on March 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama, poses backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Former U.S. President Barack Obama sits on a boat during a kite surfing outing with British businessman Richard Branson during his holiday on Branson's Moskito island, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
THIS IMAGE IS BINNED Former U.S. President Barack Obama tries his hand at kite surfing during a holiday with British businessman Richard Branson on his island Moskito, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and British businessman Richard Branson sit on a boat during Obama's holiday on Branson's Moskito island, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Malia Obama is seen arriving at The Weinstein Company on February 8, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
UNSPCIFIED, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - FEBRUARY 1: In this undated image Former President Barack Obama takes a break from learning to kitesurf at Richard Branson's Necker Island retreat on February 1, 2017 in the British Virgin Islands. Former President Obama and his wife Michelle have been on an extended vacation since leaving office on January 20. (Photo by Jack Brockway/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama is seen walking in Soho on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama is seen walking in Soho on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Director Terry Kinney and The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama chat backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Malia Obama, The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama, Danny DeVito, Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Hecht and Tony Shalhoub pose backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Ann Obama is seen out in Manhattan with friend on February 24, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Ann Obama is seen out in Manhattan with friend on February 24, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama seen out in Manhattan on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Michelle Obama leaves Upland restaurant on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Barack Obama leaves Upland restaurant on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama (L), and Robert A. Ivy, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects greet the audience during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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"We'll take another look, but our security plans are designed so we're well prepared for events like that in Manchester," Berlin's interior affairs senator, Andreas Geisel, told RBB radio on Wednesday.

With the city hosting Germany's football cup final, a mass religious meeting as well as Obama, huge crowds are expected throughout the spring weekend.

Memories are still fresh of the Berlin Christmas market attack last December, in which 12 people were killed, and flags hung at half-mast across Germany on Wednesday to express solidarity with Manchester after the attack.

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Geisel said some 6,000 police will be deployed on Berlin's streets over the Ascension Day long weekend, which begins with the German protestant church's biennial four-day Kirchentag festival.

Security at events elsewhere in Germany over the long weekend would be adjusted following events in Manchester, interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

"We mustn't focus exclusively on access controls," he told Bild newspaper. "The Manchester events have shown that the situation at the end of the event have to be looked at carefully, when people leave the hall or stadium."

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Caroline Kennedy presents the 2017 Profile in Courage Award to former U.S. President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Former US president Barack Obama watches as singer James Taylor performs for guests before Obama was presented the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on May 7, 2017 at the JFK Library in Boston, Massachusetts. / AFP PHOTO / Ryan McBride (Photo credit should read RYAN MCBRIDE/AFP/Getty Images)
Former US president Barack Obama speaks to guests after receiving the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on May 7, 2017 at the JFK Library in Boston, Massachusetts. / AFP PHOTO / Ryan McBride (Photo credit should read RYAN MCBRIDE/AFP/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Barack Obama greets supporters after speaking at a community event on the Obama Presidential Centre at the South Shore Cultural Centre in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
Caroline Kennedy presents the 2017 Profile in Courage Award to former U.S. President Barack Obama, as former first lady Michelle Obama looks on, during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. President Barack Obama stands onstage after receiving the 2017 Profile in Courage Award during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks after receiving the 2017 Profile in Courage Award during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Jack Schlossberg speaks before presenting former U.S. President Barack Obama with the 2017 Profile in Courage Award during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Caroline Kennedy speaks before presenting former U.S. President Barack Obama with the 2017 Profile in Courage Award during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 7: Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks after receiving the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Library May 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Obama was honored for 'his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century,' with specific mention of his expansion of healthcare options, his leadership on confronting climate change and his restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba. (Photo by CJ Gunther-Pool/Getty Images)
Former US vce president Joe Biden attends the ceremony where former US president Barack Obama received the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. / AFP PHOTO / Ryan McBride (Photo credit should read RYAN MCBRIDE/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 7: Singer James Taylor performs before former U.S. President Barack Obama was to be presented the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award at the John F. Kennedy Library May 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Obama is being honored for 'his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century,' with specific mention of his expansion of healthcare options, his leadership on confronting climate change and his restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba. (Photo by CJ Gunther-Pool/Getty Images)
Former US president Barack Obama (C) receives the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg (2nd-L) on May 7, 2017 at the JFK Library in Boston, Massachusetts. / AFP PHOTO / Ryan McBride (Photo credit should read RYAN MCBRIDE/AFP/Getty Images)
Jack Schlossberg, grandson of the late US president John F. Kennedy, speaks to guests before former US president Barack Obama received the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. / AFP PHOTO / Ryan McBride (Photo credit should read RYAN MCBRIDE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Obama, a close ally of Merkel while he was in office, was due on Thursday to address crowds from the spot where his predecessors John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan stood when the city was on the front lines of the Cold War.

His visit, seen as lending a hand to Merkel's campaign to be returned to office in September, will be followed on Saturday by the German Cup final, when Eintracht faces Dortmund.

(Editing by Louise Ireland)

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