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Manhunt underway after explosives found in apartment of man suspected of preparing bomb attack

Three people were arrested in the raid of the apartment.

GERMAN POLICE HAVE found several hundred grams of explosives in an apartment of a wanted Syrian man who is suspected of preparing a bomb attack in the eastern city of Chemnitz.

Three people were also arrested in the raid. Police tweeted that:

Highly explosive materials were found in the apartment concerned in Chemnitz, new evacuation measures are necessary.

Saxony police spokesman Tom Bernhardt told reporters that the explosives were “relatively well hidden” in the apartment.

Germany Raid Source: AP

Police are still searching for the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Jaber Albakr from the Damascus area in Syria.

Germany Raid Source: A9999/_Christian Zander

Bernhardt says two people who knew Albakr were taken into custody in the Chemnitz train station area and a third in downtown Chemnitz.

He says police are questioning the three, hoping they have information that might help them find the suspect.

Manhunt 

Chemnitz was in lockdown after armed police launched a huge manhunt for the Syrian man.

Germany Police Source: AP

It comes as the country grapples with a weakened sense of security following recent terror assaults.

Germany has been on edge after suffering two attacks claimed by the Islamic State group (IS) in July – an axe rampage on a train in Wuerzburg that injured five and a suicide bombing in Ansbach that left 15 wounded.

In the latest alert, police in the state of Saxony issued a search warrant for Albakr, saying he was born in Syria in January 1994.

They said Albakr was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and was “suspected of preparing a bomb attack”.

A police spokesman said the operation was launched after information was received from domestic intelligence services.

The explosion heard in the area was a police entry measure. The wanted person has not been found.

The attacks in July rattled Germans’ sense of security and fuelled concerns over the country’s record influx of migrants and refugees last year.

Security threats 

Germany Raid Source: AP

German police said previously they had identified 523 people who posed a security threat to the country, around half of whom were known to be currently in Germany.

On 21 September German officials said a 16-year-old Syrian refugee had been arrested on suspicion of planning a bomb attack in the name of IS.

The youngster, thought to have been radicalised only recently, was detained in a special forces operation at a shelter for asylum-seekers in the western city of Cologne, police and prosecutors said.

Initial information gathered from the teenager’s mobile phone showed that he had expressed an “unmistakeable willingness” to carry out an attack, Klaus-Stephan Becker of the Cologne police told reporters.

A week earlier, German police detained three men with forged Syrian passports accused of being IS militants and labelled a possible “sleeper cell” with links to the assailants behind the November attacks in Paris.

More than 200 police took part in pre-dawn raids in northern Germany to detain the men, suspected of either plotting an attack or awaiting orders to commit one.

German authorities have urged the public not to confuse migrants with “terrorists”, but have acknowledged that more jihadists may have entered the country among the one million asylum-seekers who arrived last year.

 

Additional reporting by Associated Press. 

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