A 16-year-old Syrian refugee has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of having ties to the ISIL Takfiri group, officials said Wednesday, describing him as a “serious threat”.
The youngster, thought to have been radicalized only recently, was detained in a special forces operation late Tuesday at a shelter for asylum seekers in the western city of Cologne, police and local prosecutors said in a statement.
Information gathered from the teenager’s mobile phone indicate he was in touch with a person abroad who had ties to ISIL and “wanted to recruit the young Syrian for Islamist activities”, the statement said, referring to Takfiri activities.
Germany’s state security authorities believe the youngster posed a “serious threat” and have assigned a 35-strong team of investigators to the case.
Germany is on edge after suffering two attacks claimed by ISIL in July — an axe rampage on a train in Wuerzburg and a suicide bombing in Ansbach. Both were carried out by asylum seekers.
In Wuerzburg, the 17-year-old attacker was shot dead by police after injuring five people.
In Ansbach, 15 people were injured after a Syrian failed asylum seeker detonated an explosive device outside a music festival, killing himself.
The attacks rattled Germans’ sense of security and fuelled concerns over the country’s record influx of migrants and refugees last year.