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German Authorities Probing if Syrian Bomb Suspect had Accomplices | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Policemen secure a residential area in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, on October 8, 2016. AFP

A Syrian bomb suspect, who has committed suicide, was not viewed to pose an “acute” suicide risk, a German jail official said, as the chief public prosecutor in the state of Saxony stressed the authorities are still investigating whether he had accomplices.

Jaber Albakr, 22, hanged himself with his T-shirt in a jail cell on Wednesday.

Albakr was “quiet and calm, there was no indication of emotional issues,” said Rolf Jacob, who heads the prison service in the eastern city of Leipzig, adding that the suspect had been checked on more than once an hour.

Klaus Fleischmann, the chief public prosecutor in Saxony, also said that the authorities were probing if the man had accomplices.

“We don’t know yet if there were people pulling the strings,” Fleischmann told a news conference.

German media had earlier quoted investigation sources as saying that the suspect told investigators shortly before his suicide that three Syrians who handed him over to police were accomplices.

The death in custody marks a second official “fiasco” after police commandos earlier botched the arrest of Albakr, sparking a nationwide weekend-long manhunt that only ended when the suspect’s compatriots captured and handed him in to officers.

“I am incredibly shocked and in disbelief that this could have happened,” Bakr’s lawyer Alexander Huebner told Bild daily, which reported that the suspect hanged himself with his T-shirt.

Huebner said his client had been on hunger strike since his arrest on Monday, and had already “smashed lamps and manipulated power points.”

“But he was not under watch day and night, even though the suicide risk was known,” he said.