Germany detains Syrian teen allegedly planning Berlin attack

Posted May 31, 2017

German police on Tuesday (May 30) detained a 17-year-old Syrian suspected of planning a suicide attack in Berlin, a spokesman for the interior ministry of the neighbouring state of Brandenburg said.

Today's arrest in Brandenburg will no doubt get the attention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as the suspect was arrested in her homeland of Uckermark, just northeast of Berlin.

The ministry said it was too early to confirm reports of "concrete attack plans" or the suspect's possible "Syrian nationality", BBC reported.

Police say the boy, whom they did not name, migrated to Germany illegally in 2015 before registering as an asylum seeker. The search turned up three cellphones and a tablet that is believed to belong to the teen.

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German security officials have repeatedly warned that the country is in the sights of global terrorist groups.

Memories are still fresh in Germany of the Berlin Christmas market attack last December, in which 12 people were killed by a failed asylum seeker who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Police also raided the refugee center where the teenager lived, and are questioning the suspect. The attack, carried out by a young Tunisian man who had been denied asylum in Germany, was claimed by the Islamic State group.