BERLIN (AP) – A Syrian man was arrested in northeastern Germany on Tuesday morning for allegedly planning a bomb attack with high explosives seeking to kill a large number of people, authorities said.
Special forces arrested the 19-year-old in the city of Schwerin, federal prosecutors said. They searched the man’s apartment and nearby homes of other people who they said weren’t suspected of any involvement in the crime. An apartment in Hamburg was also searched in connection with the foiled attack, the German news agency dpa reported.
Prosecutors said that the man, whose identity was only given as Yaman A., in line with Germany privacy rules, was motivated by extremist Islamic ideology. They said it wasn’t clear if he had already chosen a specific target for his attack.
“According to the current investigation, Yaman A. made a decision, at the latest in July 2017, to ignite an explosive in Germany, to kill and injure the biggest possible amount of people,” prosecutors wrote in a statement. The suspect had already procured chemicals and other bomb-making materials, authorities said.
There are currently no indications that the accused is linked to a terror organization, they said. However, he had already been under surveillance for a certain period of time.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere thanked the authorities for “preventing yet another severe terror attack in Germany.”
He added the terror threat by Islamic extremists in the country, Europe and the entire West remains “unchanged at a high level.”
Germany has been hit by several attacks, including one in Berlin last December that killed 12.