The arrest of a 19-year-old Syrian in Schwerin has thwarted a “serious terror attack” in Germany, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has said.
Known only as Yamen A, the suspect was arrested in a prefabricated house on an estate in the northern city. Special forces carried out the operation.
According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the suspect is believed to have planned and prepared an imminent Islamist-motivated attack, which would have used explosives.
“Already at the end of July 2017, the accused began procuring electronic components and chemicals through an Internet mail order company, including the purchase of sulfuric acid and oxidant solution containing hydrogen peroxide. Both chemicals alongside acetone are components of TATP, a highly potent explosive,” said spokesperson Frauke Köhler of the federal prosecutor’s office.
The aim of the attack, it’s alleged, was to kill and maim as many people as possible. The accused is said to have been known to the authorities for some time and was reportedly in contact via the Internet with someone describing themselves as a “soldier of the caliphate.”
Whether or not a specific attack target had been earmarked was not clear.
House searches took place in both Schwerin and Hamburg, but no other people were arrested. Police say there is no serious threat to the population.