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Police arrest suspect allegedly planning Berlin attack

May 30, 2017

A teenage asylum-seeker suspected of planning a suicide attack in Berlin has been arrested in the German state of Brandenburg. He reportedly wrote to his mother about his intentions.

Deutschland Symbolbild SEK
Image: Getty Images/S. Steinbach

A 17-year-old asylum-seeker was arrested in the Uckermark region of the German state of Brandenburg on suspicion of planning a suicide attack in the capital, Berlin, the state's interior minister, Karl-Heinz Schröter, said on Tuesday.

The minister said the teenager had written about a planned attack in a message to his mother. In the email, the teenager said "he had joined the jihad." 

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"The Syrian nationality and concrete attack plans could not so far be confirmed. The investigations continue," Brandenburg police tweeted.

Brandenburg's interior ministry said the boy, whose name was not released, came to Germany in 2015 as an unaccompanied asylum-seeker. He had been living in a shelter for minor refugees in Uckermark since last year.

Authorities were put on the trail of the suspect by information from other German states, Schröter revealed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel grew up in the Uckermark region, just to the northeast of Berlin, although she was born in Hamburg.

German security officials have repeatedly warned that more terrorist attacks are likely in the country. In December, a Tunisian man drove a truck into a Christmas market in the capital, killing 12 people and wounding dozens more.

In April, a German court in the western city of Cologne convicted a 16-year-old Syrian refugee for planning to carry out a terror attack. The regional court sentenced the defendant, whose name wasn't made public in line with privacy laws, to two years in youth prison.

Germany in the Crosshairs of Terrorism

shs, tj/rt (AP, Reuters, dpa)