Germany: Syrian arrested for planned terror attack kills self

After Jaber Albakr committed suicide in his jail cell, German officials are demanding answers and have said this will make the investigation into whether he had accomplices in the thwarted plot far more difficult.

German officials are demanding answers after Jaber Albakr, a Syrian suspected of planning an Islamic bombing attack in the country, was able to commit suicide in his jail cell on Wednesday night, despite indications he might be a suicide risk.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s top security official, said Thursday that Albakr’s death would make the investigation into whether he had accomplices in the thwarted plot far more difficult.

“What happened last night demands a very quick and comprehensive explanation,” he said on ZDF public television.

Albakr’s public defender, Dresden attorney Alexander Huebner, told Focus magazine that the Leipzig prison was aware that his client was a risk to kill himself. “I’m unbelievably shocked and absolutely speechless that something like this could have happened,” he said.

The German press reported that Albakr hung himself, but the reports were unconfirmed.

Saxony state authorities were already facing criticism after Albakr escaped police as they prepared to raid an apartment where he had been staying in the city of Chemnitz on Saturday. Inside the apartment, police found highly volatile explosives and a homemade bomb vest.

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Albakr was finally arrested on Monday in Leipzig after a manhunt and after three fellow Syrians tied him up and alerted police.

Albakr, who had been granted asylum after coming to Germany last year, had been under surveillance by German domestic intelligence since last month.

Earlier Wednesday, de Maiziere said that Albakr had undergone a security check last year, but it did not turn up anything suspicious. “There was a check against security authorities’ data in 2015, but without any hits,” he said. “It’s not clear when he was radicalized.”

German authorities believe he had links to the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group and was thought to be planning to attack a Berlin airport, possibly as soon as this week.

Authorities have another suspect allegedly involved in the plot in custody. The 33-year-old Syrian, identified only as Khalil A., was the tenant of the Chemnitz apartment where police found the hidden explosives and was arrested over the weekend as an accomplice.

By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.