Syrian refugees capture bomb plot suspect, hand him over to German police


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A 22-year-old suspected of plotting a bomb attack, who was the subject of a two-day manhunt in Chemnitz, an eastern German town, was overpowered and tied up by three fellow countrymen, who turned him in to the police after discovering his identity.

The bomb plot suspect identified as Jaber Albakr had been at large since Saturday, when German police officers tried to capture him in the eastern town of Chemnitz. Some reports say the 22-year-old managed to escape his apartment right under the noses of the police raiding it.

“Tired but overjoyed: we captured the terror suspect last night in Leipzig,” Saxony police said on Twitter on Monday.

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Saxony’s criminal police chief, Joerg Michaelis, said later on Monday that Albakr was recognized by three other Syrians whom he had asked for an overnight stay. Michaelis confirmed earlier media reports, saying that the Syrians had tied Albakr up and held him in their apartment in the city of Leipzig.

One of them brought a photo of Albakr to a local police station, leading to the suspect’s arrest, according to Reuters. “The suspect was handed over to us bound,” the police chief said.

Initially, police said on their official Facebook page that one or more Syrians helped detain the suspect, but gave no details “because we do not want to provoke any dangers for those persons who gave us the tip.”

On Sunday, police said the dragnet to find Albakr in Chemnitz had ended in “total failure” due to poor coordination between various units and Special Forces teams, Focus magazine reported.

Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, expressed the government’s gratitude to police and security services, and specifically mentioned the man from Syria who helped detain Albakr.

“Our thanks and recognition also go to the man from Syria who told the police where the suspect was and contributed decisively to the arrest,” Demmer said.

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