German police stop 'Islamist-motivated' attack on synagogue

German police prevent 'Islamist-motivated threat' on synagogue , says minister
2 min read
16 September, 2021
German police have stopped a potential terrorist attack connected to Islamic extremism on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, arresting four people including a 16-year-old Syrian.
Herbert Reul, Interior Minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, told media the tip-off pointed to 'an Islamist-motivated threat situation' [source: Getty]

Police averted a possible attack on a synagogue in western Germany and arrested four people including a 16-year-old Syrian youth in connection with the threat, the regional interior minister said on Thursday.

Authorities had received "a very serious and concrete tip" that an attack on the synagogue in the town of Hagen could take place during the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur, the minister Herbert Reul said.

Officers tightened security around the building on Wednesday evening and searched it for bombs but found nothing dangerous, Reul - interior minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia - told a news conference.

He said the synagogue had called off its celebration of Yom Kippur, when observant Jews hold overnight vigils.

The tip-off included details of the timing of an attack, he added.

Earlier on Thursday, police in Hagen said they had arrested four people as a result of their investigation into the threat and had searched various buildings.

Reul said one of those detained was a 16-year-old from Hagen with Syrian roots.

Germany has seen a rise in anti-Semitic violence in recent years, mostly carried out by the far-right.

In 2019, a right-wing extremist launched an armed attack on a synagogue in the eastern town of Halle, shooting dead two passers-by.

Then, police faced criticism for being slow to attend the scene, though they eventually arrested the attacker, who is now serving a life sentence for the murders.