German police managed to prevent a suspected terrorist attack from being carried out by members of a Neo-Nazi group in the western German city of Essen, officials said on Thursday.
At a televised news conference, North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul said in Duesseldorf that police found bomb material for the terror attack at the home of a 16-year-old high school student in Essen.
He said the material was functional but not operational.
The police managed to thwart the terror plot after the “whistleblower” reported suspicious items to them, according to Reul.
The suspect had previously told him he wanted to plant a bomb at his school.
It is thanks to whistleblowers and emergency services that “worse things are prevented here,” the state minister said.
The arrested teenager is being investigated on suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state.
The Düsseldorf public prosecutor’s office in charge of terrorism took over the investigation, a spokesman for the unnamed authority said and North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.
Police in Essen are investigating a possible planned terror attack on two schools.
“We can confirm that the suspect is a 16-year-old German student from Don Bosco Middle School,” police said.
A police spokesman told the German Press Office (dpa) that a special anti-terror police squad had searched the suspect’s apartment in the morning.
Based on dpa’s information, there were signs of right-wing tendencies carried out by the suspect as a manifesto was found in which he referred to several people he despised.
According to Reul, police found SS runes, and many right-wing, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim extremist manuscripts in the suspect’s home.
Police are questioning the suspect and his parents.
According to German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, far-right violence is the “biggest threat to democracy” in the country.
Neo-Nazis and far-right extremists committed 21,964 crimes in Germany last year, a government report said Tuesday.