Refugee held as possible terror suspect

Jaber-Albakr.  Picture: AFP/Getty Images.
Jaber-Albakr. Picture: AFP/Getty Images.

A Syrian man who came to Germany during a migrant influx into the country last year was arrested yesterday on suspicion of planning an Islamist bomb attack, Saxony state police said.

Police had been looking for Jaber Albakr, 22, since he evaded them during a raid on Saturday on a flat in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, where they found several hundred grams of explosive.

“Tired but overjoyed – we captured the terror suspect in Leipzig,” Saxony state police said on Twitter, adding that they seized Albakr after acting on a tip-off that other Syrians were holding him at a flat in Leipzig.

“Leipzig police immediately went to the identified place and took Albakr,” they said.

Der Spiegel magazine’s website, without citing a source, said Albakr had approached another Syrianat the railway station in Leipzig and asked if he could sleep at his home. The man agreed and later called police, who arrested Albakr at the home.

Albakr arrived in Germany last year and won recognition as a refugee from his country’s civil war.

A spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office told broadcaster SWR on Sunday: “The overall picture of the investigation, in particular the amount of explosive found, suggests that the person was planning to carry out an Islamist-motivated attack.”That will prove unwelcome news for Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservatives have lost support to the far-right Alternative for Germany party over her open-door policy towards refugees and migrants.

Stephan Mayer, a senior lawmaker with Merkel’s Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union, said Germany ’s security agencies needed to be consulted more intensively in the authorities’ handling of refugees.

“Germany is in the crosshairs of Islamist terror, just like France, Belgium or Britain,” Mayer said.

“The threat is still high, though there are no concrete indications of planned attacks. We must be very careful.” Merkel said last month she wished she could “ turn back the time by many, many years” to have better prepared for last year’s influx of almost one million migrants.

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