Questions remain on German terrorism suspects Islamic State ties

Investigators in Germany are still searching for evidence of involvement by the Islamic State terrorist militia in the plans of Jaber al-Baker, a terrorism suspect found hanged in his prison cell in Germany after his arrest last week.

So far "sufficient judicially usable connections to IS" have not been found, a spokesman for the Germany Federal Prosecutor's Office told the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

Police found around 1.5 kilograms of explosives in al-Bakr's flat in the eastern city of Chemnitz in a botched raid last week. The 22-year-old Syrian refugee was able to escape to Leipzig, some 100 kilometres away, before he was captured and handed over to the authorities by three other Syrians. Two days later, he hanged himself with his prison T-shirt in his cell.

The justice minister for the region of Saxony admitted failings in the penal system under his jurisdiction were at fault for the suicide.

"We all have to something to learn in regard to Islamist prisoners," Sebastian Gemkow told the weekly Bild on Sunday, adding that suicide may have been specifically planned to thwart investigations into the suspected terrorist act.

"In Saxony, we were not sufficiently prepared for this case," he said.

Al-Bakr, who is believed to have had links to Islamic State, made an overnight visit to the German capital in late September, the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper reported Friday, citing security officials.

Sources told the paper that the 22-year-old spent his time there carrying out research for a planned bombing and met with a contact in the city.

Last update: Sun, 16/10/2016 - 13:00
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