A 15-year-old boy and an alleged accomplice are accused of plotting to blow up a small truck at a Christmas market in western Germany in an attack modeled on the methods of the Islamic State terror group, local prosecutors say.
The teenager was detained Tuesday in Burscheid, a town near Cologne, and a court in Leverkusen yesterday ordered him kept in custody pending a possible indictment. Another teenager has been arrested in the eastern German state of Brandenburg.
Officials say the 15-year-old wrote in a chat group about attack plans. Prosecutors in Duesseldorf say he and the other suspect are accused of agreeing to attack a Christmas market in Leverkusen, a city in the western Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state, at the beginning of December by using fuel to blow up a small truck.
The teenager claims he acquired gasoline for the plan, according to a statement from prosecutors. The two suspects allegedly planned to leave Germany together after the attack and join the Islamic State-Khorasan Province terror group, an IS offshoot active in and around Afghanistan.
Investigators are evaluating evidence found at the 15-year-old’s home but did not find any stocks of fuel, prosecutors say. He is being investigated on suspicion of conspiring to commit murder and preparing a serious act of violence.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has said, including before news of the arrests emerged yesterday, that the threat situation in the country has escalated since Hamas’s October 7 massacres in southern Israel.