Sunday 19 November 2017

Germany terror suspect 'tied up by fellow Syrians'

Police officers patrol the Central Station in the eastern city of Chemnitz, Germany (AP)
Police officers patrol the Central Station in the eastern city of Chemnitz, Germany (AP)

A terror suspect has been arrested in Germany after three Syrians recognised him from a wanted poster and tied him up before calling the police.

Jaber Albakr, 22, a Syrian man who was granted asylum in Germany, is suspected of preparing a bomb attack in the country.

He is motivated by Islamic extremism and is likely linked to Islamic State (IS), police and prosecutors said.

Albakr, who is from Damascus, was arrested shortly after midnight in the eastern city of Leipzig.

Leipzig is around 50 miles from Chemnitz, the city where he had allegedly evaded authorities on Saturday after they found several hundred grams of a volatile explosive at an apartment.

Officers said the suspect approached his fellow countrymen at the Leipzig main train station and asked them if they could accommodate him, and they agreed.

Saxony criminal police chief Joerg Michaelis said the three Syrians recognised Albakr from police wanted posters which had been distributed online.

He said two of the Syrians bound and held Albakr at their apartment while the other brought a mobile phone photo of Albakr to a local police station, leading to the suspect's arrest.

The wanted posters were put out in German, English and Arabic and made use of a recent surveillance photo taken by Germany's domestic intelligence agency.

Albakr had been on the radar of the security services since last month. Mr Michaelis said that, at this stage of the investigation, "the behaviour and actions of the suspect currently speak for an IS context".

Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for German chancellor Angela Merkel, thanked the authorities and the Syrians who helped in Albakr's arrest.

Federal prosecutors said they currently have no indications that Albakr had already chosen a target for an attack.

The explosives were destroyed on Saturday in a controlled explosion.

In July, two attacks carried out by asylum-seekers and claimed by IS in which multiple people were injured put Germany on edge. Two other attacks were unrelated to Islamic extremism.


Press Association

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