Man Arrested In German Bomb Plot Kills Himself

October 12, 2016

German officials say a Syrian man arrested on Monday for allegedly planning a bomb attack has killed himself.

Jaber al-Bakr was being held in a detention center in Leipzig, Germany, reports the Associated Press. The wire service quotes German news outlet Spiegel Online as reporting that al-Bakr had been under constant surveillance at the center because he was at risk for suicide.

German justice ministry spokesman Joerg Herold told the AP that al-Bakr killed himself sometime in the evening on Wednesday, and that the incident was being investigated.

Authorities earlier said he was likely linked to ISIS.

NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports al-Bakr was arrested after a nationwide manhunt over the weekend, which started Saturday when German intelligence agents tipped off police. The police raided an apartment in Chemnitz, Germany, where Soraya reports they found “fuses and three pounds of explosives, including what authorities think is TATP.”

TATP is a volatile chemical used in the bomb attacks earlier this year in Brussels and Paris.

During the Saturday raid, Soraya reports the police saw al-Bakr fleeing. They fired a warning shot but did not chase him.

He was caught on Monday, after he asked fellow Syrian refugees for help. They recognized him from wanted posters, held him at an apartment in Leipzig and delivered him to the police tied up, Soraya reports.

As the Two Way reported on Monday:

“In addition to gathering explosive materials, al-Bakr had searched for instructions on how to make ‘equipment for jihad,’ the AP reports, but investigators say there’s no evidence he had selected a target to attack.”

Al-Bakr was 22 years old, and arrived in Germany from Syria last year. “He was granted asylum for three years,” Soraya reports, and settled in the town of Chemnitz in eastern Germany, where she says “there’s been a lot of anti-refugee sentiment.”

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit