A Syrian refugee arrested in Germany on Monday was ready to strike imminently with attacks similar to those in Brussels and Paris, while other refugees refused his actions and expressed relief for his arrest.
Jaber Albakr, 22, arrived in Germany in February last year during a migrant influx into the country and was granted temporary asylum in June 2015. Officials said he had not previously aroused suspicion.
German police discovered 1.5 kg of extremely dangerous explosives in a flat in Chemnitz before detaining 22-year-old Jaber al-Bakr in Leipzig on Sunday, ending a manhunt that lasted almost two days, the German general prosecutor said. A specific target was as yet unknown, he said.
Al-Bakr was captured after two other Syrian men tied him up in their apartment in Leipzig and alerted police. Leipzig is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Chemnitz.
Al-Bakr had met the men at Leipzig’s train station on Saturday, Michaelis said, and asked if he could stay with them. The men took in the stranger but realized on Saturday night through social media that he was wanted by police. They tied al-Bakr to their sofa and alerted the police via social media, asking them to come detain him.
For security reasons, police would not identity the two men who turned in al-Bakr.
Police identified a second suspect as 33-year-old Khalil A., who was also from Syria and entered Germany in November last year. He was arrested at Chemnitz train station on Saturday and has been remanded in custody.
A spokesman for the federal interior ministry said it was too soon to say whether Albakr was part of a larger network. Two other suspects detained on Saturday were released on Sunday.
Syrian refugees refusal
Syrian refugees in Germany expressed their refusal for al-Bakr actions, saying that anyone who tries to harm the country that welcomed them must be severely punished.
“We came to Germany looking for safety, for a new life and to help in building this country. We didn’t come here looking for trouble. We refuse any action that may harm this land, those terrorists don’t resemble neither us or Islam,” Hasan, a Syrian refugee from Aleppo told Middle East Observer.
“This country and its people welcomed us, provided us safety and gave us a chance to start again. How can anyone think of harming it? We refuse these actions, we seek no harm here,” Abu Ahmad, a Syrian refugee from Homs told MEO.
“We will try to identify ant threat and to isolate the ones who use our refugee state as a cover for their crimes. We will tell the authorities about this for sure,” Abu Ahmad added.
“We are glad that al-Bakr was identified and caught before he does any harm. We hope his arrest can reveal other members in his network to foil their plans,” Firas, a Syrian refugee from Latakia said.
“We ask the German authorities to apply the harshest ounishments against al-Bakr and the ones like him,” Firas added.
“These lowly actions were plotted by ones who claims to Muslims and spread terror in the name of Islam but truth that Islam refuses these actions. They are a bunch of brainwashed ignorants who are used to spread fear and hate amongst humans, and to foil any chance for more rapprochement between religions and cultures,” Saleh, a Syrian student in Germnay said.
“Islam is the religion of peace and mercy. We and our religion refuse these actions and deny any connection with these criminal plots,” He finalized.