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German 14-year-old accused of planning armed attack on synagogue or mosque

Prosecutor says boy allegedly carried out at least one trial with explosives in preparation for the attack

Illustrative: German police seen in Potsdam's central train station, June 26, 2020. (Julian Stähle/picture alliance via Getty Images via JTA)
Illustrative: German police seen in Potsdam's central train station, June 26, 2020. (Julian Stähle/picture alliance via Getty Images via JTA)

JTA — Police in western Germany arrested a 14-year-old high school student they believe was planning an attack on a mosque or synagogue.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office in Dusseldorf told the DPA news agency that the boy, who has not been named in German media, had allegedly carried out at least one trial with explosives in preparation for the attack. The boy is being charged with attempted incitement to murder and an act of violence posing a national threat, the spokesperson said.

The broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported Tuesday that the boy communicated with unidentified parties on his cellphone to discuss his plans. In correspondence on the WhatsApp messaging platform he spoke of carrying out a knife attack or bringing a gun to a Jewish or Muslim house of worship, according to Deutsche Welle.

The arrest comes just over a year after a far-right gunman killed two people in Halle, Germany, outside a synagogue on Yom Kippur. A fortified door prevented him from entering the Jewish house of worship.

Policemen stand guard in front of the Hohe Weide synagogue in Hamburg, northern Germany, on October 5, 2020 (MORRIS MAC MATZEN / AFP)

On Sunday, a Jewish man was assaulted outside a synagogue in Hamburg by a 29-year-old man from Kazakhstan.

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