Europe / Middle East / Politics

Germany: Syrian bomb suspect had security check last year

BERLIN (AP) — A Syrian man arrested for a suspected Islamic extremist bomb plot underwent a security check last year, but it turned up nothing suspicious, Germany’s top security official said Wednesday.

Jaber Albakr, a 22-year-old Syrian who had been granted asylum, was arrested Monday in Leipzig after three fellow Syrians tied him up and alerted police. He arrived in Germany early last year.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that “there was a check against security authorities’ data in 2015, but without any hits.” He added “it’s not clear when he was radicalized.”

Authorities believe the suspect had links to the Islamic State group.

German media have reported that after his initial arrival, Albakr later returned to Syria through Turkey and then came back to Germany. De Maiziere said that was part of the investigation and would not comment.

Federal prosecutors also refused comment.

The three Syrians who captured the suspect have already been granted asylum, de Maiziere said in response to calls for their applications to be fast-tracked due to their heroism.

He said, however, that their “behavior deserves praise and recognition.”
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Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere and head of the Federal Agency of Migration and Refugees Frank-Juergen Weise hold a press conference regarding the numbers of asylum seeker for September 2016 as well as the third quarter 2016 in the Federal press conference in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere and head of the Federal Agency of Migration and Refugees Frank-Juergen Weise hold a press conference regarding the numbers of asylum seeker for September 2016 as well as the third quarter 2016 in the Federal press conference in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)