Islamist teen arrested in Germany after stealing bomb-making chemicals from high school, confessed to wanting to blow up building

By Thomas Brooke
2 Min Read

A suspected Islamist teenager in Germany has been arrested by authorities after stealing chemicals from the local high school to make a bomb and blow up a building.

The 17-year-old broke into the Geschwister comprehensive school in Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, for the second time on Thursday evening and was detained by state police on Friday morning, according to the Detmold public prosecutor’s office.

“We are currently investigating suspicions of preparing an explosive explosion,” the office confirmed as cited by Der Spiegel.

According to the news outlet, state police seized iron (III) oxide and aluminum grit, as well as pipettes and test tubes from the teen. During a search of his bedroom, officers also found 750 milliliters of sulfuric acid.

When questioned by police, the suspect is understood to have confessed to wanting to blow up an unnamed building but insisted he did not plan to kill people.

The minor was reportedly already known to intelligence agencies as a potentially radicalized Islamist, and security services had acquired intelligence of him regularly visiting a mosque often frequented by Chechen Salafists.

Further investigation is currently underway to examine his cell phone and uncover any accomplices.

The incident is the latest in a number of thwarted terror attacks across Germany in the past month.

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Nine foreign nationals were arrested in Germany and the Netherlands in December 2023 for planning Islamist terror attacks after entering Western Europe via Ukraine in 2022. The suspects were known affiliates of the Islamic State of the Khorasan Province (ISPK), a regional offshoot of the Islamic State terror group in Central Asia.

Late last month, state police in Cologne received intelligence about a credible terror attack planned on Cologne Cathedral around Christmas, leading to armed police guarding the Christian landmark and churchgoers being searched upon entry to Christmas Mass.

In May last year, two Syrian brothers were arrested in Hamburg on suspicion of plotting to blow up a fully occupied Swedish church.

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