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German police arrest Syrian man over suspected jihadist bomb plot

Authorities say investigations focus on 28-year-old suspect and his 24-year-old brother, who were motivated by ‘radical Islamist’ convictions to plan attack with homemade explosive

Illustrative: German police officers prepare their equipment in Berlin on March 31, 2023. (Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)
Illustrative: German police officers prepare their equipment in Berlin on March 31, 2023. (Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

BERLIN, Germany — German police said they had detained a 28-year-old Syrian man on Tuesday in relation to a suspected jihadist plan to use a homemade bomb against civilian targets.

Police, who arrested the man in Hamburg, also searched a number of addresses in the northern port city as well as in the southern town of Kempten, they said.

Around 250 officers were involved in the operation on Tuesday morning, seizing evidence including chemical substances.

Investigations were focused on the 28-year-old suspect and his 24-year-old brother, the authorities said.

Motivated by “radical-Islamist and jihadist convictions,” the pair were suspected of planning an attack with a “self-made explosive” aimed at “civilian targets.”

The elder brother is said to have used “the online platform eBay and other providers” to buy the ingredients to make explosive materials in recent weeks.

His younger sibling, who lives in Kempten, is believed to have supported the planning of the suspected attack.

The 28-year-old has already been charged by German courts with “terrorism financing,” police said.

Islamist extremists have committed several violent attacks in Germany in recent years, the deadliest being a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12 people.

The Tunisian attacker, a failed asylum seeker, behind the 2016 incident was a supporter of the Islamic State jihadist group.

In another case, an extremist and his wife were jailed in 2020 for planning a biological bomb attack in Germany with the deadly poison ricin.

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