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The Latest: No evidence German bomb suspect had firm target

Posted October 10

— The Latest on the arrest of a suspect in an alleged bomb attack thwarted in Germany (all times local:

2:40 p.m.:

Federal prosecutors in Germany say there is no evidence a young Syrian man arrested in an alleged bomb plot Monday had picked a target to attack.

Federal prosecutors said in a release Monday that police found some 1.5 kilograms of an "extremely dangerous explosive" and other material in the apartment where 22-year-old Jaber Albakr had been staying in Chemnitz.

They say Albakr allegedly was "planning an Islamist motivated attack with high explosives in Germany" but so far investigators have no evidence he "already had a concrete target for his bombing attack."

They say Albakr had been searching online for instructions on how to make explosives and "equipment for jihad" at least since the beginning of the month.


2:20 p.m. (all times local):

German officials say one of the three Syrians who captured a man suspected of plotting a bomb attack went to a local police station with a photograph of the suspect in captivity and urged authorities to arrest him.

Saxony criminal police chief Joerg Michaelis said Monday the man went to the Leipzig station with the picture as evidence of 22-year-old Jaber Albakr's capture just before midnight Sunday. Police rushed to the apartment where Albakr was being held and arrested him early Monday morning.

Albakr, who had been granted asylum in Germany, escaped authorities on Saturday when they raided an apartment in Chemnitz where they found "several hundred grams" of a volatile explosive.

Saxony's top security official, Interior Minister Markus Ulbig, says authorities are trying to if there was a target.


2:05 p.m.

German investigators say the young Syrian man suspected of planning a bombing attack was recognized by other Syrians with whom he sought refuge and that they bound him and called police.

Saxony criminal police chief Joerg Michaelis said Monday that the three recognized 22-year-old Jaber Albakr from police wanted posters that had been distributed online and over social media.

Michaelis says the other Syrians bound and 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 suspect's arrest.

Michaelis said: "The suspect was handed over to us bound."

Michaelis says the wanted posted were put out in German, English and Arabic and made use of a recent surveillance photo taken by Germany's domestic intelligence agency.


1:45 p.m.

A police chief in eastern Germany says a young Syrian suspected of planning a bombing attack is believed to have Islamic State group contacts.

Saxony criminal police chief Joerg Michaelis also told reporters in Dresden on Monday that 22-year-old Jaber Albakr had been on the radar of the country's domestic intelligence agency since last month with "hints" he may be planning something.

Michaelis says at this stage of the investigation, "the behavior and actions of the suspect currently speak for an IS context."

Albakr came to Germany as a refugee in 2015 and had been granted asylum.

Police say fellow Syrians whom Albakr approached at a train station led to his arrest early Monday.


9:53 a.m.

A police spokesman says fellow Syrians led to the arrest of a Syrian whom authorities allege may have been preparing a bomb attack in Germany.

Saxony police spokesman Tom Bernhardt said Monday that police were informed that 22-year-old Jaber Albakr was being held at an apartment in Leipzig, and "immediately went there and arrested him."

Bernhardt says police aren't giving further details "because we do not want to provoke any dangers for those persons who gave us the tip."

Jaber Albakr, who had been granted asylum in Germany, was arrested in Leipzig, a city around 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Chemnitz, where he had evaded authorities on Saturday.


7:36 a.m.

Experts are trying to determine whether the explosives they found in an apartment in Saxony state over the weekend were the same ones used in the deadly attacks in Paris and Brussels.

The explosives used in the Nov. 13 and March 22 attacks are known as TATP, or triacetone triperoxide.

TATP has been used in many attacks over the years, and is favored by violent extremists because it's fairly easy to make and detonate.

The explosives were destroyed Saturday in a controlled detonation by bomb squad experts in a pit dug outside the five-story apartment building because they were considered too dangerous to transport.

German media have reported that Albakr is believed to be connected to Islamic extremist groups, but Saxony police have not commented on his possible motive or the bomb plot's target.


7:09 a.m.

German police say they have detained a 22-year-old Syrian man who was the subject of a nationwide hunt and is believed to have been preparing a bomb attack.

Police in the eastern state of Saxony tweeted early Monday that Jaber Albakr was detained overnight in the eastern city of Leipzig. They were not immediately reachable for further details.

Albakr, from the Damascus area of Syria, escaped the authorities Saturday during a raid of his apartment in nearby Chemnitz. Investigators said they found "several hundred grams" of a volatile explosive hidden in the apartment.

The raid came after Saxony police were given a tip from Germany's domestic intelligence service that Albakr may be planning an attack.

German media have reported that Albakr is believed to be connected to Islamic extremist groups.


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