Terrorist suspect travelled to Berlin to survey airport, report says

A key terrorist suspect who was found hanged in his cell in Germany earlier this week reportedly made a trip to a Berlin airport where investigators believe he was planning to carry out a bomb attack.

Jaber al-Bakr, a Syrian refugee 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.

Al-Bakr came to Germany in February 2015 and was given three-year temporary approval for his asylum request. News magazine Spiegel reported that he travelled to Syria to join Islamic State in September before returning to his host country.

His brother Alaa al-Bakr has told the media that he was radicalized by Berlin-based imams while in Germany.

The domestic intelligence agency began monitoring al-Bakr in mid-September. However, officials said they were not watching him during his brief time in Berlin and only found out about last month's visit during the current investigation, the Morgenpost reported.

Police found around 1.5 kilograms of extremely dangerous explosives in al-Bakr's flat in the eastern city of Chemnitz in a botched raid last week. He was able to escape to Leipzig, some 100 kilometres away, before he was captured and handed over to the authorities by three other Syrians.

The series of setbacks culminated in his suicide in a Leipzig prison on Wednesday, prompting angry politicians to pile criticism on authorities in the eastern state of Saxony.

Last update: Sat, 15/10/2016 - 16:45

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