Possible threat of attack on a German synagogue by a teenager Islamist

The 16-year-old timed the attack to the highest Jewish holiday, the Yom Kippur. The German police arrested him and his three accomplices.

The 16-year-old Syrian boy and three other people plotted an explosion attack on the local synagogue in Hagen located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, right on the day of atonement. Nevertheless, they could not carry out the attack, for according to the announcement of the German police, they received a tip from a foreign intelligence about an Islamist in Germany acting suspiciously online.

According to the intel gathered by the Der Spiegel news magazine in Hamburg, a young man was talking about planning an explosive attack on a synagogue in a monitored online chat, deliberately choosing the day of Yom Kippur. Allegedly, the information obtained from the foreign intelligence was very concrete, naming the attacker as well as the location and time of the attack. The probe led the police to the 16-year-old Syrian boy, who is living with his father and two brothers in the city centre. The Düsseldorf prosecutor’s office commenced proceedings against the teenager for plotting an overtly subversive criminal activity. In the evening, the police carried out a search in the flat of the young Islamist and cordoned off the city synagogue with several police units. The police searched the buildings with sniffer dogs but found no explosives neither in the synagogue nor in the flat. Besides the 16-year-old, three other man was detained in a raid on an apartment near the railway station, and a suspicious car parking nearby was also searched.

The Syrian boy arrived to Germany through Beirut, with the great wave of immigration in 2015, in the framework of family reunification. His father had been living in Hagen for a few months with a refugee status, and not much later he was officially declared a refugee. Secret services didn’t know his son to be an Islamist; most probably he became radicalised online, at home.

The International Auschwitz Committee is awaiting a reaction from the Muslim community; according to the committee’s Executive Vice President, Christoph Heuber, ’this case is a sign that anti-Semitism is widespread among Muslim migrants’.

There was a similar anti-Semitic attack on Yom Kippur in Germany two years ago, committed by a far-right extremist who was also radicalised online. He shot two people dead nearby the synagogue in Halle and injured two others. The massive door of the synagogue prevented him from entering and perpetrating a massacre among the worshippers inside.