BERLIN — After a massive manhunt, police in the East German city of Leipzig arrested an alleged Syrian bomb plotter on Monday who was subdued by other Syrian migrants after recognizing the suspect from police wanted posters.
The suspect, identified as Jaber Albakr, 22, is accused of planning a bomb attack and having possible ties to the Islamic State.
The incident comes after a string of arrests across Germany of migrants suspected of plotting terrorist acts. It further added fuel to questions about potential risks from the hundred of thousands of migrants who flocked to the country last year during an exodus into Europe from Syria and elsewhere.
Explosives were found in an apartment in Chemnitz, about 160 miles south of Berlin. Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, said the evidence suggested “the preparations in Chemnitz resemble the preparation of the attacks in Paris and Brussels.”
“The way that the suspect proceeded and his behavior suggest an [Islamic State] context,” said Jörg Michaelis, president of the Saxony state police.
A second suspect from Syria, a tenant at the apartment where the explosives were found, also was arrested in a raid Saturday. Both men arrived in Germany in 2015 and had their asylum requests approved.
Albakr had been on the run since the raid in Chemnitz, about 30 miles southeast of Leipzig.
On Monday, three Syrians who recognized Albakr tied him up in their apartment and called police, ending a nearly two-day hunt, authorities said.
Albakr reportedly came to the country last year as one of the 890,000 migrants who streamed to the country in 2015 and had been granted asylum by German authorities.
“Tired but overjoyed: we captured the terror suspect last night in Leipzig,” the Saxony police tweeted Monday.
Politicians on Monday called for a more thorough vetting of arrivals.
Stephan Mayer, a member of the conservative Christian Social Union, told the Rheinische Post that domestic and foreign intelligence service should be involved more in the questioning of migrants as part of the asylum process.