A 12-year-old boy tried to detonate a bomb at a Christmas market in the western town of Ludwigshafen, German prosecutors have said.
Judicial sources cited by Focus magazine said the German born child of Iraqi heritage was ‘strongly radicalised’ and reportedly instructed by a member of the so-called Islamic State.
Officials confirmed they were investigating the case, but declined to comment on the details.
“The 12-year-old who is being accused of having planned a bomb attack in Ludwigshafen, is being held at a safe place. Therefore he doesn’t currently pose a security risk. The responsible authorities are collectively looking for longer lasting solution,” Mayor of Ludwigshafen Dr. Ewa Lohse said in a press conference.
The boy is below the age of criminal responsibility, meaning no formal proceedings have been launched against him.
Local residents were shocked by the news: “Is this a new way to carry out catastrophes like this, with minors? It’s a disgrace,” one man at the market told a reporter.
The child allegedly planted a homemade device at the market in November which failed to detonate, and then planted another device a few days later at the town hall.
The country is on high alert after being targeted in terror attacks by supporters of ISIL in July.