Trail Goes Cold in German Hunt for Man Suspected of Planning Bomb Attack

German policemen check cars on the entrance to Berlin-Schoenefeld airport, in Schoenefeld, near Berlin, October 9, 2016, following a suspicion that a bomb attack was being planned in Germany. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN, Oct 9  – The trail went cold on Sunday in a German police manhunt for a Syrian refugee suspected of planning a bomb attack after a raid on an apartment in which a cache of explosives was found.

“We are following numerous tips, but unfortunately we don’t have a hot lead yet,” said Tom Bernhardt, spokesman for the Saxony state criminal investigation office. “We must continue to assume that this person poses a danger.”

A security source told Reuters that there was some evidence indicating the Syrian had Islamist leanings. “But this doesn’t automatically mean we are talking about Daesh. This could also be a case of self-radicalisation via the Internet.”

Police appealed to the public for any information on the suspect, 22-year-old Jaber Albakr, after Saturday’s apartment raid in the eastern German city of Chemnitz. They described him as wearing a black hooded top with a bright pattern on the front, and warned people to be careful of him.

Albakr had been in Germany since last year and was officially recognised as a refugee, Bernhardt said.

He was not previously known to police, who raided the flat after a tip-off from the domestic intelligence service.

Police have begun investigating a second Syrian who rented the apartment that was raided and was known to Albakr. He was detained in Chemnitz on Saturday on suspicion of involvement in preparing a bomb attack with Albakr, Bernhardt said.

Two other people detained in Chemnitz on Saturday have been released.

In late July, Daesh claimed responsibility for attacks on a train near Wuerzburg and at a music festival in Ansbach which wounded 20 people.


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