German police arrest 17-year-old Syrian over Berlin attack plot

German officials say a suicide bombing for this week was thwarted after the arrest of a 17-year-old asylum seeker who arrived in 2015.

Police in the state of Brandenburg said the teenager was detained in the county of Uckermark, northeast of Berlin, after they learned he had sent a message to family members saying farewell and that "he had joined the jihad", or holy war.

Special forces arrested the Syrian teenager after police received a tip-off, Brandenburg police tweeted (in German).

The ministry said it was too early to confirm reports of "concrete attack plans" or the suspect's possible "Syrian nationality", BBC reported.

Brandenburg's interior minister Karl-Heinz Schröter confirmed the arrest which came after authorities intercepted a WhatsApp chat in which the youngster bade farewell to his mother. The home he was living in is now being searched by the state criminal investigation office.

Details of the alleged plot can not be released due to police operations, which are ongoing, the police added.

In December, a jihadist killed 12 people with a lorry in Berlin.

Officials allege the teen was planning a terror attack in Berlin. He has been living since 2016 in a home for minor refugees in Gerswalde, and was detained there in the Tuesday morning raid.


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