German police arrest Syrian bomb plot suspect
GERMAN police yesterday arrested a man suspected of plotting a jihadist bomb attack, after a massive manhunt lasting almost two days.
Security had been stepped up at airports and stations after Jaber Albakr, a Syrian, went on the run on October 8, when police raided his apartment and found several hundred grams of “an explosive substance more dangerous than TNT”.
“We’ve succeeded, really overjoyed: the terror suspect Albakr was arrested overnight in Leipzig,” police said on Twitter.
Police previously said that “even a small quantity” of the explosives “could have caused enormous damage”.
Local media reported that the material was TATP, the homemade explosive that was used by jihadists in the Paris and Brussels attacks.
Mr Albakr, 22, was believed to have had internet contact with the Islamic State group, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
According to security sources quoted, he had built “a virtual bombmaking lab” in the flat in a communistera housing block and was thought to have planned an attack against either one of Berlin’s two airports or a transport hub in his home state of Saxony.
Acting on a tip-off from the domestic intelligence agency, police commandos had sought to swoop on the Syrian at his apartment building in the eastern city of Chemnitz, about 85 kilometres (53 miles) from Leipzig.
He was finally caught early yesterday after police learnt that he had sought help from two Syrians in Leipzig, Spiegel Online reported.
Albakr’s Syrian flatmate has been remanded as a suspected co-conspirator of a “serious act of violence” while two other of his associates, who had been detained earlier, have been released. –