The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) announced that a Syrian man arrested on Monday was in the process of building a bomb and was looking to detonate it in one of Berlin’s airports renewing concern about mass casualty terror events in the country that has seen a sharp push back against the open border policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel with many Germans feeling less safe.
The narrowly averted attack was the result of vigorous surveillance and counterterrorism work after covert agents reportedly identified the suspect in the eastern state of Saxony on Thursday and began round-the clock observation.
"We found out that he then bought hot glue in a discount shop on the following day. And then we immediately pull all measures into place to start a raid because we assumed this can basically be the last missing chemical for him to build a bomb," said intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maasen.
The intelligence official had warned the public via the ARD television network that field reports suggested that the Daesh (ISIS) terror group was planning an attack on Germany’s transportation infrastructure in the near future – a reality that worries German officials who are left to wonder whether the suspect is the only Daesh actor involved in that specific terror plot.
German public prosecutor Peter Frank has taken over the investigation of the case given the magnitude of the crime that is alleged against the suspect and in a statement to ARD television news he explained that had the terrorist fulfilled his plot it would have resulted in scores of casualties.
"The danger is mainly characterized by the fact that he developed a very high explosive for which special expertise was needed, and he made it in a very large quantity," said Frank in the interview with ARD.
The 22-year-old suspect Jaber Albakr arrived in Germany in February 2015 as a migraint and was granted temporary asylum in the country – fitting precisely the background of prospective terrorists that Merkel’s political nemesis, the far-right AfD Party, warned about.