A 17-year-old “jihadist” has been detained in northeast Germany, local police said.
He is reported to be a Syrian national suspected of planning a terrorist attack, officials announced, according to DPA news agency.
The suspect was allegedly planning to carry out a suicide bombing attack in the German capital, DPA reports, citing the interior minister of the state of Brandenburg, Karl-Heinz Schroeter.
In a tweet with an attached statement, law enforcement authorities said they had detained a “jihadist” in the community of Uckermark, north of Berlin on the border with Poland.
Police followed a tip-off from the federal authorities, which discovered that the suspect had bid farewell to one of his relatives in a message and said that he had “joined jihad,” the statement reads.
According to DPA, the suspect bid farewell to his mother in a WhatsApp message and “clearly stated” that he was planning a terrorist attack.
It is so far unknown how close the suspect was to carrying out a potential attack, police said, adding that investigators have not yet found any evidence proving that he was preparing for a specific assault.
Police also raided the refugee center where the teenager lived, and are questioning the suspect.
Police then said in another Twitter post they have been unable to confirm that the suspect was indeed a Syrian, and said they still had no evidence of any “specific attack plans.”
According to preliminary information, the suspect came to Germany “illegally” in 2015 and then submitted an asylum request, police said.
He was sent to a center for unaccompanied minors in Uckermark and has lived there since 2016.
He apparently was not previously known to law enforcement.