GERMANY POLICE RAIDS CHEMNITZ.jpg
A German police officer secures a sealed-off residential area of Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany, 08 October 2016.
Photograph: EPA/HENDRICK SCHMIDT

The German Federal Prosecutor's Office on Sunday has taken over the investigation in the eastern city of Chemnitz of a suspected planned bomb attack which they are labelling an act of Islamist terrorism.

"The overall picture of the investigations, especially the amount of the explosive material found, points in the direction of a person who has planned to carry out an Islamist-motivated attack," a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor's Office said.

The statement came as a nationwide manhunt was triggered by the discovery of explosives in the Chemnitz flat of 22-year-old Jaber al-Bakr.

The Syrian man, who according to investigators in the state of Saxony, arrived in Germany as a refugee is suspected of planning a bomb attack and is currently on the run.

Police special forces have searched a second flat, one of several contact addresses for the suspect, on Sunday for explosives, but found none, a spokesman said.

Police detained a man from the latter location and are now questioning him.

Three other Syrian men including the lessee of al-Bakr' flat were detained Saturday. The lessee remains in police custody while the two others were released Sunday.

Police have not confirmed German media reports that the main suspect al-Baker had been in contact with the Islamic State terrorist group via internet and may have been in discussions with them over a possible target.

Security sources told dpa Saturday that there was a suspected connection to Islamic State.

Police have also refused to comment on a report by Focus magazine that a German airport was the intended target of an attack. Security was beefed up at both Tegel and Schoenefeld airports in Berlin late Saturday.

Some 890,000 migrants arrived in the country in 2015, many of whom had fled the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Germany has been on high alert since two terrorist attacks occurred over the course of one week in July. Both were claimed by Islamic State militants and carried out by asylum seekers.

At least five Islamist attacks have been thwarted by German police since 2007.

Related stories

Latest news

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

Reformist Macron wins support of key centrist leader for French vote

France's reformist presidential hopeful, Emmanuel Macron, got a boost on Wednesday when he picked up the support of a party leader whose centrist constituency played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.

Amnesty International warns of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech in Croatia

Croatia continues to have problems with discrimination against ethnic minorities and with freedom of the media, while heightened nationalist rhetoric and hate speech during election time contributed to growing ethnic intolerance and insecurity in the country, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report on the state of human rights in the world in 2016/2017.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

100th anniversary of rescuing starving children marked

A special ceremony was held in Zagreb's Croatian National Theatre on Wednesday to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest humanitarian undertakings in the history of the Croatian people which saved children in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from famine in the last two years of World War I.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Council: Nixing grants to "Novosti" would cause far-reaching implications

The Council for National Minorities, a state-level autonomous umbrella organisation for all ethnic minorities in Croatia, has stated that the cancellation of financial grants to the "Novosti", a newspaper of the ethnic Serb minority, would produce far-reaching implications and stir criticism for reduction of free speech and of freedom of expression of the most numerous ethnic minority.