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German police arrest suspect "planning bomb attack"


German police arrest suspect "planning bomb attack"

  • 22-year-old Syrian came to Germany during 2015 migrant surge
  • Police were tipped off by Syrians holding suspect
  • Explosives had been found in Chemnitz flat
  • Suggests plan for Islamist militant attack – prosecutor

A man suspected of planning a major terrorist attack in Germany has appeared in court in Dresden.

Police in the state of Saxony say Jaber al-Bakr was detained in a flat in the eastern city of Leipzig in the early hours of Monday.

Officers say they found the 22-year-old, who is originally from Damascus, tied up at an address in the Paunsdorf area of the city, after a tip-off in the early hours.

They had been looking for him since a raid on an apartment in the eastern German city of Chemnitz on Saturday.

How it happened

Without citing a source, Spiegel Online reported that police captured Albakr after a tip-off from another Syrian living in Leipzig.

Albakr reportedly approached the man at Leipzig train station and asked if he could sleep at his home.

The man agreed but later called the police.

Albakr was arrested at 0042 local time on Monday.

Two-day operation

The alarm was initially raised after explosives were found in a flat in the eastern town of Chemnitz on Saturday.

Officers say they uncovered a detonator, explosives and a kilo of chemicals.

A controlled explosion was carried out.

Police had been looking for the 22-year-old Syrian refugee in connection with the discovery.

Jaber al-Bakr

  • Syrian national
  • 22 years old
  • Came to Germany in February 2015
  • Granted asylum in November
  • Media reports say police acted on a tip-off from the local Syrian community

Bad news for Angela Merkel?

Reports that a refugee was allegedly planning a bomb attack will prove unwelcome news for the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Her conservatives have lost support to the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) over her “open-door” migration policy.

Merkel said last month she wished she could “turn back the time by many, many years” to better prepare for last year’s influx of almost one million migrants.

She has yet to say whether she will seek a fourth term as chancellor in elections next year.

What they are saying

“The overall picture of the investigation, in particular the amount of explosive found, suggests that the person was planning to carry out an Islamist-motivated attack,” – spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

“Germany is in the crosshairs of Islamist terror, just like France, Belgium or Britain. The threat is still high, though there are no concrete indications of planned attacks. We must be very careful,” – Stephan Mayer, lawmaker, Christian Social Union (CSU)

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