The Syrian man arrested in Germany for a suspected Islamic extremist bomb plot killed himself on Wednesday in a prison cell in Leipzig, Saxony’s state.
Justice Ministry spokesman Joerg Herold told The Associated Press that Jaber Albakr, 22, killed himself sometime in the evening, but that the incident was still being investigated.
Albakr, who had been under surveillance by German domestic intelligence since last month, was observed exiting the apartment building and authorities fired a warning shot. He nevertheless was able to elude police on the scene and flee the city. Inside the apartment they found highly volatile explosives and a home-made bomb vest.
He then telephoned fellow Syrians saying he was seeking a place to shelter but they recognised him through wanted posters on social media, tied him up and contacted the police. He was finally arrested in the apartment located in the eastern German city of Leipzig following a two-day manhunt
Albakr, who had been granted asylum after coming to Germany last year, was finally arrested Monday in the city Leipzig after three fellow Syrians tied him up and alerted police. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that Albakr had undergone a security check last year, but it did not turn up anything suspicious.
“There was a check against security authorities’ data in 2015, but without any hits,” he said. “It’s not clear when he was radicalized.”
German authorities have said they believe he had links to the Islamic State group and was thought to be planning to attack a Berlin airport, possibly as soon as this week. German media have reported that after his initial arrival, Albakr later returned to Syria through Turkey and then came back to Germany.