Chemnitz: German police hunt Syrian man over suspected bomb plot

Saxony Police released images of a man identified as Syrian-born Jaber Albakr, in connection with the operation in Chemnitz.
Saxony Police released images of a man identified as Syrian-born Jaber Albakr, in connection with the operation in Chemnitz.

(CNN)- Police in Germany are hunting a 22-year-old Syrian man in connection with a suspected planned bomb attack, Saxony Police told CNN on Saturday.

He was named by police as Jaber Albakr. He was born Jan. 10, 1994 and is from the Damascus countryside area, police said.

The details emerged during a large-scale police operation in the city of Chemnitz.

Two people have been arrested at the city’s train station, police said, and their luggage was being searched.

The station has been temporarily cordoned off, police said. Another person was arrested in the city center. Police believe they were in contact with the suspect.

Officers found traces of explosives in their search of an apartment in the city’s Fritz-Heckert district, Saxony Police spokesman Tom Bernhardt told CNN.

Bernhardt said it was not known at this point whether or not the suspect was armed or in possession of explosives.

In a Facebook statement, Bernhardt later said police found a highly explosive mix of substances at the apartment. The substances can’t be transported easily and police were trying to dispose of them at a safe place.

The tip about the apartment came from the German interior intelligence services, he said. Police carried out a controlled explosion to gain access to the apartment.

A police media release said Albakr was currently wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

In a Facebook live posted by the police, Bernhardt said that the suspect could be considered dangerous.

The operation — which saw large areas of the city cordoned off — is now coming to an end, the spokesman told CNN.

Police are trying to clear the area soon so that residents can return to their homes. People were warned to stay indoors while the police raid was under way. They were also urged via Twitter not to post photographs or video to social media while the operation was ongoing.

Chemnitz is only about 40 miles from the city of Dresden, where security was stepped up last month following two bomb attacks, one on a mosque and another on a conference center.

Two homemade devices were involved in those attacks, police said. No one was injured.

Chemnitz, a city of more than 200,000 people, is in Germany’s east, lying to the south of Berlin and Leipzig, not far from the border with the Czech Republic.

From 1953 to 1990, as part of the former East Germany, the city was known as Karl-Marx-Stadt. It still features a 7-meter high bust of the philosopher Karl Marx.

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