1. The German interior minister Lothar De Maiziere gave a short press briefer on the foiled attack of today.
Terror suspect wanted to kill as many as possible
An original translation from Die Welt.
- A Syrian was arrested on suspicion of preparing an attack motivated by Islamism. According to the federal prosecutor’s office, he had made up his mind to “kill a number of people, as large as possible”.
- Thomas De Maiziere said that the arrest in Schwerin prevented “a grave terror attack”.
A Syrian was arrested in Schwerin on the strong suspicion of preparing an explosives attack, motivated by Islamism. This is what the federal prosecutor’s office announced on Wednesday morning (CET). Special forces of the Federal Police and the Federal Criminal Police Office were deployed in the action.
Additionally, the apartment of the suspect, and more apartments in Schwerin and in Hamburg were being searched, as Welt learned from police sources. One investigator told Welt: “The arrest of this man, particularly on Reformation Day, when there is a large event in Wittenberg with many top politicians, gives food for thought.”
According to investigations, the 19 year old accused is strongly suspected of having planned, and already concretely prepared, an islamistic-motivated attack in Germany with a highly potent explosive. Apparently, the authorities had the young man in their sights for a period of time. Already in July 2017, he had made up his moind to detonate an explosive device in Germany, to injure and kill a number of people as large as possible.
According to information by Die Welt, the Syrian Yamen A. came to Germany in October 2015. Currently, it does not appear that the 19-year-old already came to Germany with an order to prepare an attack. At the moment, [authorities] assume that he radicalized in the country.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) accordingly came across suspicious commumication on the internet, which led to a Facebook profile. Upon this, according to security authorities, Facebook was asked to disclose the user data of the terror suspect, but it took a while, until the suspect could be identified without doubt, and, finally, localized. The data contained extensive chat communication with a person who is deemed an “IS follower” and who calls himself a “soldier of the Caliphate”. This is congruent with Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) who pointed out the importance of the internet for the arrest.
The federal prosecutor’s office confirmed early Wednesday afternoon (CET) that the suspect had contact over the internet ot a person who called himself “soldier of the Caliphate”. “But we do not know who this person is, and we do not know if he encouraged him (the suspect) in his plans”, said Frauke Köhler, spokesman of the federa prosecutor’s office.
Therefore, at the moment, charges are not laid against the Syrian for membership in a terrorist organization, but for preparing a grave subversive crime [translator: “eine schwere staatsgefährdende Straftat”, a grave subersive crime, is the technical term for a terror attack in German Officialese], Köhler said.
Special forces arrested the 19 year old Syrian in the early morning hours under the suspicion of preparing an islamistic-motivated bomb attack. Apartments are searched in Schwerin, and in Hamburg.
At the moment, no hints to membership in a terrorist organization
He allegedly begun in July to gather technical components and chemics that are needed for building an explosive devicde. It were still unclear if the accused already had a concrete destination for his explosive attack. As for the moment, the federal prosecutor’s office would not yet have hints of a membership of the accused in a terrorist organization.
There have been repeated arrests in Germany of suspects who were preparing attacks out of Islamistic motivation. The latest was the arrest of a 40 year old last Wednesday in Berlin, whom investigating authorities deem a member of Islamist circles. In July 2016, a 27 year old Syrian refugee self-detonated on the square in front of a music festival, 15 people were injured.
The office of the federal prosecutor announced a release on the state of the investigations in the afternoon.
Note: we will be updating this post when new information comes in.