Syrian refugee arrested in Germany on Monday after being tied up by three compatriots was plotting to bomb a Berlin airport in the name of the Islamic State group, the head of domestic intelligence said.
“We have received information from the secret services that he initially wanted to target trains in Germany before finally deciding on one of Berlin’s airports,” Hans-Georg Maassen told German public TV channel ARD.
While some German media outlets over the weekend suggested the suspect, Jaber Albakr, 22, had such a target in mind, this was the first official confirmation.
The decision to arrest the suspect was taken Friday after he bought hot-melt glue.
“We thought this was the last chemical product he needed to make a bomb,” said Maassen.
Albakr had narrowly slipped through the police net Saturday when commandos raided his apartment and found 1.5 kilos (over 3 pounds) of TATP, the homemade explosive used by jihadists in the Paris and Brussels attacks.
The explosives were “almost ready, or even ready for use”, said Joerg Michaelis, chief investigator in the eastern state of Saxony, adding that the suspect was apparently preparing a “bomb, possibly in the form of a suicide vest”.
– ‘He tried to bribe us’ –
After a two-day manhunt, police finally got their man with the help of three of Albakr’s fellow Syrians in the eastern city of Leipzig. (AFP)