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German gurdwara blast: Third suspect in police net

A third suspect has been arrested in connection with the bombing of a gurdwara by Islamist militants in the German city of Essen, police said on Thursday amid reports that two teenagers had rehearsed for the terror attack by detonating a prototype of their self-made bomb.

world Updated: May 05, 2016 18:06 IST
PTI
A special police unit took the unidentified man into custody at Essen’s central railway station on Wednesday evening on an arrest warrant issued against him by a district court in the city, police said.
A special police unit took the unidentified man into custody at Essen’s central railway station on Wednesday evening on an arrest warrant issued against him by a district court in the city, police said.(Photo: German Media)

A third suspect has been arrested in connection with the bombing of a gurdwara by Islamist militants in the German city of Essen, police said on Thursday amid reports that two teenagers had rehearsed for the terror attack by detonating a prototype of their self-made bomb.

A special police unit took the unidentified man into custody at Essen’s central railway station on Wednesday evening on an arrest warrant issued against him by a district court in the city, police said.

A person accompanying him was also detained and kept in custody, said a statement.

Police gave no further details, but media reports identified the third man arrested as jihadist Tolga I, a 17-year-old jihadist and sympathiser of Islamic State (IS) terror group, from Wesel in the state of North Rhine Westphalia.

Tolga I gave the orders to the two main suspects to carry out the terror attack. 16-year-old secondary school students Mohammed B and Yussuf T were arrested four days after they allegedly detonated a fire extinguisher filled with explosives at the entrance of the Nanaksar Satsangh Sabha Gurudwara on April 16.

Read: ‘IS-linked’ teenagers accept hand in German gurdwara bombing: Report

Meanwhile, media reports said the two teenagers had rehearsed for the attack by detonating a prototype of their self-made bomb.

Police found a video of the trial explosion on a USB drive in the apartment of Mohammed B in Essen, TV channel WDR reported on Wednesday. Different material for making bombs, including detonator also were recovered.

The video showed the explosion of a bomb in an open area similar to the fire extinguisher filled with explosives they detonated at the entrance of the Nanaksar Satsangh Sabha Gurdwara.

Investigators now believe that the blast which ripped through the entrance hall of the gurdwara on the evening of April 16, injuring three persons, one of them seriously, was a meticulously planned operation.

Read: German gurdwara terror suspects wanted maximum casualities: Police

During their interrogation, Mohammed B and his accomplice Yussuf T told the investigators that they carried out the bomb attack “for the fun of making fireworks”.

But, the interior ministry of the state of North Rhine Westphalia confirmed last week that the two 16-year-old secondary school students wanted to detonate the bomb inside the gurdwara, which hosted a wedding ceremony, but they failed to break in through the entrance door. The two teenagers are currently in preventive custody.

Read: German cops say gurdwara terror suspect a repeat offender

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