Germany arrests Syrian for plotting jihadist attack

BERLIN: Police in Berlin on Tuesday arrested a 37-year-old Syrian man accused of planning an Islamist attack, with prosecutors saying he had begun to acquire chemical materials for a bomb.

The unnamed accused exchanged instructions on ways to manufacture weapons and explosives with other suspected Islamists in a chat group on the Telegram messaging app, Berlin prosecutors said.

The Syrian stands accused of preparing “a serious act of violence against the state” and was arrested at his Berlin home, they added.

In a separate statement, federal prosecutors specialising in terrorist cases said special police forces searched the man’s flat on Tuesday.

The accused is alleged to have started procuring the equipment and chemicals needed to build a bomb.

“This was to be detonated at an unknown time in an unknown place in Germany in order to kill and injure as many people as possible”, the federal prosecutors said.

The accused notably purchased acetone and hydrogen peroxide in recent months, they added.

Both are key components in the highly explosive TATP.

Germany remains on alert following a series of Islamist attacks, the deadliest of which was a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in 2016 that killed 12 people.

Dozens of suspects have been arrested or charged over alleged terror plots in recent years.