German police in the city of Leipzig have detained a Syrian man wanted for questioning over explosive material discovered in his apartment in Chemnitz. The arrest ends a two-day manhunt seeking the 22-year-old refugee.
German police in Saxony said early Monday that they’d arrested 22-year-old Jaber A. following an exhaustive search in the eastern German city of Leipzig. Two apartments were raided in the operation and three other suspects were held for questioning.
Authorities were alarmed after police – acting on a tip off from Germany’s domestic intelligence agency – raided the suspect’s Chemnitz apartment Saturday and seized more than 100 grams of an unspecified explosive material later detonated in a controlled explosion.
A day later, a second apartment in the eastern German city was raided and police held another man for questioning.
Experts are now trying to determine whether the explosives they found in the apartment were the same ones used in the deadly November 13 attacks in Paris and the March 22 attacks in Brussels. It was not immediately clear what the Syrian refugee was doing with the explosives. Speculation has been rife in the German media, but so far police have refused comment.
Police have only said that the man was originally from the Damascus area of Syria and had been granted refugee status after arriving in Germany last year.
Questions remain, however, as to how Jaber A. was able to evade police as he was at home when they raided his Chemnitz apartment at about 7 a.m. local time (0500 UTC) on Saturday. Officers reportedly spotted him and even fired at least one warning shot but he was still able to slip away.
During the search, German police boosted security around the country, particularly around “critical infrastructure” like train stations and airports.
Editor’s note: Deutsche Welle follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.
jar, ksb/kl (dpa, AFP)