Syrian terror suspect tied up, arrested

  • 11/10/2016
The Leipzig apartment where the suspect was arrested (Getty)
The Leipzig apartment where the suspect was arrested (Getty)

A 22-year-old Syrian refugee suspected of planning a terrorist attack has been arrested after another group of Syrian men invited the fugitive into his home before calling police.

Jaber al-Bakr appeared before the court in Dresden on Monday after being arrested overnight in a raid on an apartment in the nearby city of Leipzig.

The three men met al-Bakr at a Lepzig train station and invited him to their house before realising he was wanted by police and tying him to a chair, Der Spiegel reports.

Police stormed the property shortly after midnight on Monday (local time).

Police launched a manhunt for Jaber al-Bakr on Saturday after discovering hundreds of grams of explosives in an apartment in a communist-era housing block in Chemnitz.

"Tired but overjoyed: we captured the terror suspect last night in Leipzig!" police tweeted.

The German Interior Minister says al-Bakr was planning attacks in a similar scale to some of Europe's most deadly.

"According to what we know, the preparations in Chemnitz are similar to the preparations for the attacks in Paris and Brussels," Thomas de Maiziere said in a statement on Monday.

Joerg Michaelis, president of the Saxony state criminal investigation office, told a news conference that the 22-year-old refugee was most likely inspired by Islamic State.

"The behaviour of the suspect speaks for an IS (Islamic State) context," he said.

Police also said on Monday that a 33-year-old Syrian who was suspected of being an accomplice of al-Bakr, had now been arrested.

The 33-year-old man, who has not being named, was detained by police on the weekend and rented the Chemnitz apartment where the explosives were found.

Police have not confirmed German media reports that the plans included launching a terrorist attack on a German airport.

Police have also been forced to defend their handling of Saturday's raid in Chemnitz in which al-Bakr had escaped saying that they had to proceed cautiously because the apartment building had not been evacuated.

The arrest of al-Bakr, who entered Germany illegally in February 2015 before gaining refugee status, also resulted in Chancellor Angela Merkel facing renewed political pressure from her critics.

About 890,000 refugees arrived in Germany in 2015, many fleeing Syria's five-year civil war, after Merkel opened up her nation's borders to allow refugees stranded in Hungary to travel to Germany.

DPA / Newshub.