trash bin.jpg
Photograph: Photo by daniel zimmel, used under CC BY-SA

A teenaged terrorism suspect detained in the German city of Cologne was recruited by the Islamic State militia via online chat groups and encouraged to plant a nail-filled bomb, local media reported Friday.

According to reports citing the arrest warrant, the 16-year-old Syrian refugee was instructed to place the bomb in a trash bin in a well-trafficked public place.

He afterwards was heard in a mosque saying that he wanted to kill for the Islamic State group.

Investigators are now in the process of evaluating and translating the chats, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office said. This could take some time, he said, as it requires analysis of a "not inconsiderable amount of data" from the suspect's mobile phone.

The 16-year-old asylum seeker was taken into custody Wednesday in the Porz district of Cologne, where he was living in refugee accommodation.

The suspect expressed "unequivocal willingness" to commit a bomb attack in online chats, Cologne police spokesman Klaus-Stephan Becker said during a press conference.

Police chief Juergen Mathies added that the teen had received "very concrete directions" on how to build an explosive device, but that there was no evidence to suggest he already possessed the necessary materials.

Officials said an evaluation of the boy's mobile phone showed he had been in contact with an Islamic State operative located outside Germany and that he had been radicalized within a short period of time.

The teenager fled the war in Syria with his parents and sister and was first registered on January 4, 2015.

He came to the attention of police in June, when his behaviour was said to have changed markedly. Following a second check by police, the decision was made to detain him.

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

Latest news

Famine declared in parts of South Sudan: 100,000 facing starvation

More than 100,000 people are facing starvation in parts of violence-plagued South Sudan, three UN agencies said Monday as they declared famine in parts of the country.

North Korean envoy to Malaysia: 'We cannot trust the investigation'

North Korea "cannot trust the investigation" by Malaysian police into the death last week of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother, Pyongyang's ambassador to Malaysia said Monday.

Kim Dotcom loses latest round in extradition saga

German internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has lost another legal round after the New Zealand High Court ruled that he and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the United States, but he said Monday his fight is far from over.

Thai monks clash with police on fifth day of high-profile temple raid

Several monks were injured early Monday in clashes with Thai police at a Buddhist temple where thousands of officers have been searching for a former abbot wanted on money laundering and land encroachment charges.

Cambodia passes bill easing requirements to abolish political parties

Cambodia's parliament passed a controversial bill on Monday allowing the government to abolish political parties whose members have been convicted of criminal charges, a senior opposition lawmaker has confirmed to dpa.

Former VP Moreno wins first round of Ecuador's presidential elections

Leftist former vice president Lenin Moreno has won the first round of presidential elections in Ecuador on Sunday, according to preliminary results released by the country's electoral authority.

Report: US and Russia supply over half of global arms

The United States and Russia supplied more than half of the world's arms over the past five years, a period that saw arms transfers reach their highest volume since the end of the Cold War, a Swedish-based research institute said Monday.

Messi's last minute penalty saves Barcelona from shock draw

Barcelona beat Leganes 2-1 with a last minute penalty from Lionel Messi in the Spanish first division on Sunday.

At least 30 injured after explosion in Bogota

A explosion in the Macarena area of Bogota injured at least 30 people on Sunday, many of them police officers who were guarding a bull running through the streets of the Colombian capital.

Vojvodina institutions hold conference on Bunjevci's non-Croat ethnic background

There are around 16,000 members of the Bunjevci community in Vojvodina who deny their Croat ethnic background. They are represented by the Bunjevci National Council which enjoys the support of state authorities, and, since the change of government in Vojvodina, of the provincial authorities as well.

SpaceX rocket blasts off from historic launch pad en route to ISS

A commercial rocket built by SpaceX is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) with a load of research equipment, cargo and supplies, NASA said Sunday.

Defence deals worth 1.2 billion dollars announced at key UAE show

Deals worth nearly 4.4 billion dirhams (1.2 billion dollars) were reached at a major defence show that opened Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an official said.