Boy, 16, arrested over alleged plot to attack local school

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
Police vehicles are parked in front of the Don Bosco High School in Essen.
Police vehicles are parked in front of the Don Bosco High School in Essen.   -  Copyright  David Young/dpa via AP

A 16-year-old student has been arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting a bomb attack on a local school.

Police officers in the city of Essen said they had searched the suspect’s apartment overnight and found spears, other sharp weapons and bomb-making materials.

The student is suspected of plotting an attack on the Don-Bosco-Gymnasium -- the school he currently attends -- or another local school he was previously registered at, the Realschule am Schloss Borbeck.

Both schools were closed on Thursday because of police operations, a statement read.

Don-Bosco-Gymnasium’s said on their website that they had “received indications that a crime was being planned at the school”.

Thomas Kutschaty, the state parliamentary leader of the centre-left SPD, said the reports of the alleged plot had "deeply shocked" him.

"It is probably thanks to the high level of civil courage and the courageous intervention of the police that nothing happened to teachers, pupils, and students," he added on Twitter.

"The police probably prevented a nightmare," added Herbert Reul, the interior minister of the regional state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

David Young/dpa via AP
Police officers found several stabbing weapons and spears at the suspect's home.David Young/dpa via AP

Reul told reporters that authorities had acted on a tip-off and had launched a large-scale operation involving 123 officers.

Police had also recovered documents containing "racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim" thoughts but Reul stressed that the suspect was suffering from "psychiatric disorders" with "suicidal" tendencies.

The suspect remains in custody.