By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent
The Central Council of Jews in Germany warned that the apparent plan to attack a synagogue in Hagen city “on the highest holiday … shows that the increase in security measures at many Jewish institutions was and is necessary.”
Herbert Reul, minister of the interior for the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, confirmed they received “a very serious and concrete tip” about possible terrorism.
Police confirmed they had detained a 16-year-old Syrian boy and three other people over a suspected Islamist plot to attack the synagogue in Hagen, south of Dortmund.
All were detained during a raid of an apartment where the boy was staying, Worthy News learned.
The 16-year-old, a Syrian national, reportedly commented on the internet platform Telegram to someone named “Abu Hab” about attacking the synagogue on a Jewish holiday.
German media said the contact had shared bomb-making instructions with the teen.
Police surrounded the synagogue, and sniffer dogs searched it for bombs but found nothing dangerous.
However, investigators are reportedly still working with terrorism authorities on the case. The main suspect has denied he planned an attack.
Hagen’s Jewish community had 264 members in 2020, according to Germany’s Jewish communal welfare organization. The synagogue was built in 1960.
News about a possible terror attack comes amid concerns about rising anti-Jewish sentiments in Germany.
On Yom Kippur in 2019, a right-wing extremist tried to shoot his way into the synagogue in Halle. Unable to breach the door, he shot and killed two passersby. The gunman is serving a life sentence.
One year ago, Germany reportedly pledged an increase of about $26 million to its Jewish umbrella organization. The money was to cover the costs to improve the physical security of synagogues and other Jewish communal buildings.
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