German police said on Monday they had captured a man suspected of planning a bomb attack who had slipped through their grasp during a raid two days ago. “Tired but overjoyed: we captured the terror suspect last night in Leipzig,” Saxony state police said on twitter.
Police had been looking for the suspect, 22-year-old Syrian refugee Jaber Albakr, since he evaded them during a raid on an apartment in the eastern city of Chemnitz on Saturday.
Police found several hundred grammes of explosive in the apartment during Saturday’s raid.
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Albakr had been in Germany since last year and was officially recognised as a refugee, police said at the weekend.
“The overall picture of the investigation, in particular the amount of the explosive found, suggests that the person was planning to carry out an Islamist-motivated attack,” a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office told broadcaster SWR on Sunday.
The suspicion that a refugee was planning a bomb attack will prove unwelcome news for Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservatives have lost support to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party over her open-door migration policy.
Merkel, who said last month she wished she could “turn back the time by many, many years” to better prepare for last year’s influx of almost 1 million migrants, has yet to say whether she will seek a fourth term as chancellor in elections next year.
In July, the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for attacks on a train near Wuerzburg and at a music festival in Ansbach that wounded 20 people.