Monday May 23, 2022

German police discover bomb-making materials in possession of teen

Published : 12 May 2022, 23:33

  By Yuriko Wahl-Immel, dpa

Police officers carry objects, including several stabbing weapons and spears, from a suspect's home in Essen. Photo: David Young/dpa.

A terrorism investigation was launched in Germany on Thursday after police discovered bomb-making materials in the possession of a 16-year-old boy suspected of planning an attack at a school.

Herbert Reul, the interior minister of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, said the bomb-making materials, other explosive substances and far-right extremist writings had been discovered during a raid of the teen's home in the city of Essen.

He was arrested in his room in the early morning with his parents present.

He is currently being questioned and a terrorism investigation has been launched, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said.

Other materials found in the boy's home that could be interpreted "as an urgent cry for help from a desperate young man (with) massive psychological problems and suicidal thoughts," Reul said.

Shortly after the raid, police launched a large-scale operation at two Essen schools, the Don-Bosco-Gymnasium and the Realschule am Schloss Borbeck. The police had likely "prevented a nightmare," Reul said.

The minister added that the bomb-making materials had not included a fuse, meaning that the explosive device had been "functional but not operational."