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.
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.