Four accomplices, including a Syrian migrant, arrested.
German police have foiled a major Islamic terror attack on a synagogue in the western German city of Hagen, German media reported. At least four people, including a young Syrian immigrant, were arrested in connection with a bomb plot to be executed during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
German weekly Der Spiegel disclosed that the alleged terrorist cell had links to the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group. “According to the sources in law enforcement, the youth admitted being in contact with a bomb expert via the Telegram messaging service,” Der Spiegel reported. “The sources in law enforcement say that the person the youth had been in touch with is reported to be the member of the Islamic State terrorist militia,” the magazine added.
According to German news reports, an unnamed foreign spy agency alerted German authorities to the impending attack. “A foreign spy agency had tipped off the [German] Federal Intelligence Service (BND) about the alleged Islamist [plot], the sources in the security services say,” German newspaper Die Welt reported.
The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the details of the foiled jihadi attack:
German police arrested four people Thursday, including a teenager, over a threat of an attack on a synagogue on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
Hagen police said they made the arrests as a result of their investigation into the threat and had searched several buildings.
It followed a huge police deployment late Wednesday at and around the synagogue in Hagen, a city just east of Düsseldorf. The synagogue canceled an event due to the threat.
On Thursday evening, police said that three of those arrested had been released. The 16-year-old main suspect remains in custody.
The Düsseldorf prosecutor’s office said that no bomb components had yet been discovered by investigators. Mobile phones and hard drives had been seized and are being evaluated, a spokesperson said.
The foiled attack likely had an Islamist motive, Armin Laschet, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, suggested some hours after the news broke out.
“It appears that prior to today on Yom Kippur, an Islamist motivated attack was averted,” Laschet said. “We will do everything we can to clarify which networks may have been behind” the plot.
The planned Islamist attack on a Jewish place of worship coincides with a spike in antiemetic attacks in Germany. “The number of antiemetic crimes has risen in the past year,” the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeiner reported in February. The number rose from 2,032 in 2019 to 2,275 in 2020, the newspaper informed, citing government figures.
Since the beginning of the migrant influx of 2015, Germany’s tiny Jewish community has seen a surge in violent antisemitism. Failing to address the rising Muslim antisemitism, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has advised German Jews to hide their identity in public. In 2019, the German government’s Commissioner for Antisemitism told the country’s Jews to avoid wearing Kippah, or the Jewish skullcap. “I can’t advise Jews to wear Kippah at all times and everywhere in Germany,” Felix Klein, who heads the Federal Antisemitism Office, said.
The news of the foiled attack comes as Western intelligence agencies warn of the increased threat of Islamic terrorist attacks in the wake of the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban takeover will have an “immediate inspirational effect” on terrorist cells in the West and may result in “well-developed, sophisticated plots of the sort that we faced in 9/11 and the years thereafter,” Director General of British MI5, Ken McCallum, admitted recently.
[Excerpts from German media reports translated by the author]DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.