Police in the German state of Brandenburg have arrest a 17-year-old asylum seeker that they claim was on the brink of carrying out a suicide attack in Berlin, the nation’s capital, in the wake of a similar attack in Britain that killed nearly two dozen victims.
The teenage suspect revealed the details of the planned attack in an email to his mother which contained the eerie admission that “he had joined the jihad,” said Brandenburg interior minister Karl-Heinz Schröter on Tuesday.
He also revealed that the boy – whose name has not yet been released pending further investigation – arrived in Germany in 2015 as an unaccompanied asylum-seeker and had been living in a shelter for young refugees since last year. No word has surfaced as to whether his age has been verified, as some migrants have been known to lie about their age in order to gain increased state benefits.
The Brandenburg police force took to Twitter to remind the public that they are still in the middle of an inquiry. “The Syrian nationality and concrete attack plans could not so far be confirmed. The investigations continue,” a tweet read.
Germany has been on high alert since December, when a North African man carried out a heinous truck attack at a Berlin Christmas market that left 12 people dead and injured dozens more. In April, a 16-year-old Syrian refugee was slapped with a two-year youth prison sentence for plotting a terror attack.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity has wavered in recent months as the country buckles under the weight of the migrant crisis, which many have blamed on her open-door policies. Still, her party is expected to carry her to a fourth term in the upcoming September parliamentary elections.