A 19-year-old Syrian man was detained Tuesday for allegedly planning “to kill and injure as many people as possible” in a planned terror attack in the city of Hamburg.
The suspect, identified as Yamen A., was detained in the town of Schwerin in northern Germany. He is “strongly suspected of having planned an Islamist-motivated attack” involving highly explosive materials, police said in a statement.
The attack was “concretely planned” but there is no known connection between Yamen A. and an international terror group. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the arrested prevented a “serious terror attack” that could have caused much devastation. The terror threat remains “unchanged at a high level,” according to de Maiziere.
The number of terrorism-related cases investigated by German authorities have quadrupled over the past year, according to newspaper Welt am Sonntag. (RELATED: Terrorism-Related Cases In Germany Quadruple In One Year)
Prosecutors have opened more than 900 cases so far this year, compared to 240 throughout 2016. Just 80 cases related to terrorism reached the courts in 2013.
Germany’s federal police (BKA) estimates 705 Islamist extremists are willing to carry out terror attacks, up from 600 during an estimate in February. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) recently said around 24,400 Islamists are active in the country but most of them don’t pose an immediate terror threat.
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