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German Court Convicts Syrian Teenager for Planning Terror Attack | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A German police secures the main train station in Munich, Germany, January 1, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Cologne – A German court in the western city of Cologne on Monday convicted a 16-year-old Syrian refugee for planning to carry out a terror attack.

The regional court said in a statement that the defendant was found guilty of plotting “a serious act of violence threatening state security”.

The teenager, who was not identified by the court, was arrested at an asylum shelter in Cologne in September and went on trial in February.

Judges said the plot was thwarted at a “very early stage” and that no concrete implementation of the attack had yet taken place.

The defendant’s lawyers have asked for an acquittal, but the court refused because it did not believe that he did not intend to carry out any attack.

A battery carrier with wires, sewing needles and a small butane gas canister were found in the defendant’s possession during the raid.

The court found enough evidence that the boy had declared himself willing to carry out an attack in an internet chat with “a person close to ISIS.”

Investigators found online chat messages on the phone that included “concrete instructions” for building an explosive device.

The suspect was brought to police attention after residents and employees at the refugee shelter where he was staying voiced concerns that he had been radicalized.

On the other hand, a man arrested in a police raid near Leipzig at the weekend was suspected of plotting an attack in Berlin.

According to police, a man in his mid-twenties from North Africa was arrested at a refugee home in Borsdorf near Leipzig in the early hours of Saturday.

Police reported that the arrest had prevented a potential “acute crime” after state authorities in Saxony received evidence on Friday.

Local newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung reported that the man was suspected of plotting an attack in Berlin, and is also believed to have made a bomb threat on February 8 that triggered a major police operation in the town.

Police would not confirm the report to DPA on Sunday.