German police said Monday they have arrested a Syrian man suspected of plotting a jihadist bomb attack, after a massive manhunt lasting almost two days.
“We’ve succeeded, really overjoyed: the terror suspect (Jaber) Al-bakr was arrested overnight in Leipzig,” police said on Twitter about the 22-year-old.
Police had on Saturday found several hundred grams of an “explosive substance more dangerous than TNT” hidden in Albakr’s apartment and said that “even a small quantity … could have caused enormous damage”.
Local media reported that the material was TATP, the homemade explosive that was used by jihadists in the Paris and Brussels attacks.
Albakr was believed to have had internet contact with the Islamic State group, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Acting on a tip-off from the domestic intelligence agency, police commandos had sought to swoop on the Syrian early Saturday at his apartment building in the eastern city of Chemnitz, about 85 kilometres from Leipzig.
But he narrowly managed to evade police, local media said.
He was finally caught after police learnt that he had sought help from two Syrians in Leipzig, Spiegel Online reported.
Police subsequently arrested him in the early hours of Monday in the two Syrians’ apartment.