SHARE
COPY LINK

POLICE

UPDATE: Berlin terrorism suspect worked at primary school

Police in Berlin on Tuesday arrested a 26-year-old Syrian man accused of planning an Islamist attack, with prosecutors saying he had begun to acquire chemical materials for a bomb.

UPDATE: Berlin terrorism suspect worked at primary school
Photo: DPA

The accused man, Abdullah H., 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.

The suspect was employed as a cleaner at a primary school in the capital. Previously, he had worked until September in the Bode Museum on Berlin's Museum Island, said Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) on Tuesday.

Abdullah H. was originally reported to be 37. The State Attorney General's Office has corrected this to 26.

There was no information about a possible target for the suspect's attack. “We assume that there was a considerable danger,” said Geisel. 

In a separate statement, federal prosecutors specializing in terrorist cases said special police forces searched the suspect's flat on Tuesday.

Abdullah H. 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”, said Geisel.

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.

READ ALSO: German police arrest three suspects over 'planned terror attack' near Frankfurt

Member comments

  1. So sad. He was likely getting ready for Christmas. These frequent discoveries could all have been avoidable had politicians been more concerned about our European security and future.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLICE

German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.

SHOW COMMENTS