German police detain Islamist; official says he planned Berlin attack

  • German police detain Islamist; official says he planned Berlin attack

German police detain Islamist; official says he planned Berlin attack

German state police were questioning a 17-year-old asylum-seeker Tuesday after a tactical unit took him into custody outside Berlin on suspicion that he was planning a suicide attack in the capital.

That attack on a Christmas market by Anis Amri, a Tunisian, put security services under intense scrutiny because of the way in which the attacker, who was later shot dead by police in Italy, evaded their surveillance and crossed European borders undetected.

"According to evidence, he joined Jihad and said goodbye to family members", they added, referring to the term for Islamic holy war.

The state Interior Ministry's office identified the suspect as Syrian, but Herbst said investigators were checking to see whether he falsely registered as a Syrian but was actually from a North African country.

According to the state's interior minister, Karl-Heinz Schroter he had sent a message to his to his mother and written his intentions about the plot. The home he was living in is now being searched by the state criminal investigation office. Police in Brandenburg arrested the individual, who has lived in housing for unaccompanied refugees since 2016, although specific details have not been released due to an ongoing investigation.

Police said on Twitter that the suspect entered Germany in 2015 and sought asylum.

Officials allege the teen was planning a terror attack in Berlin.