Germany has welcomed the detention of a second man wanted in connection with an alleged plot to blow up trains. The 20-year-old, identified as Jihad Hamad, is in custody in his native Lebanon, after handing himself in to police there. At the weekend, a 21-year old Lebanese national was arrested in northern Germany over the affair. Now authorities are eager to get their other prime suspect onto German soil.
Federal Prosecutor Rainer Griesbaum said: “The pressure to arrest someone, which also led to the first arrest, was so big in Lebanon that the accused turned himself in.” But, with no extradition agreement between the two countries, he warned the process of getting Hamad delivered to Germany could take months.
The student already in German custody has been formally placed under investigation, accused of belonging to a terrorist group and trying to commit murder. The probe follows the discovery of two unexploded bombs found in abandoned suitcases in trains in western Germany last month. If the makeshift devices had gone off, police say, many people would have been killed. As a climate of fear spreads and security is stepped up on public transport, German Muslims have urged the government not to make them scapegoats.