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German Police Detain Syrian Man Suspected of Planning Bomb Attack


A German policeman holds the picture of a terrorist-subject infront of the main terminal of Berlin-Schoenefeld airport, in Schoenefeld, near Berlin, Oct. 9, 2016.

A Syrian man arrested Monday in Germany for allegedly planning a bomb attack is probably linked to the Islamic State group, police said.

Saxony criminal police chief Joerg Michaelis said that "the approach and behavior of the suspect point to an IS context."

The 22-year-old Syrian refugee, Jaber Albakr, was recognized by three Syrians with whom he sought refuge. They bound him and contacted police.

Michaelis said the three held Albakr in their apartment in the city of Leipzig. One of them brought a photo of Albakr to a local police station, leading to the arrest.

“The suspect was handed over to us bound,” Michaelis confirmed.

Police had been looking for Albakr after they found several hundred grams of TATP explosive in his apartment in Chemnitz. TATP was the homemade explosive used by jihadists in last November's attack in Paris and in the Brussels attack in March.

Albakr had been in Germany since 2015, when he was officially recognized as a refugee. He is originally from the Damascus area of Syria.

The suspicion of a Syrian refugee involved in a potential terrorist attack is undesirable news for Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has lost support from far-right voters over her open-door migration policy.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for attacks that happened in July on a train in Wuerzburg and at a music festival in Ansbach. At least 20 people were wounded.