A Syrian migrant suspected of planning a terror attack in Germany has committed suicide in Leipzig prison. The 22-year-old Jaber Albakr killed himself despite being on hunger strike and under round-the-clock surveillance, judicial sources told Spiegel Online. It could not be immediately confirmed how Albakr killed himself but news agency DPA said he had hanged himself.
In a statement published by The Guardian the Justice Ministry for the state of Saxony said on Wednesday: "On the evening of October 12, 2016, Jaber Albakr, who was suspected of planning a serious attack, took his life in the detention centre at Leipzig correctional hospital."
Damascus-born Albakr was suspected of plotting to attack Berlin airport and had been under surveillance by the German domestic intelligence service for several months. Police raided his flat in Chemnitz early on Saturday morning (8 October) but he managed to escape before they entered. Police found several hundred grams of a volatile explosive which they said was enough to do significant damage.
Albakr was arrested two days later, in Leipzig, after he was overpowered by three other Syrian migrants who recognised him from photographs circulated by police.
The migrants were praised by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is under increasing pressure after allowing a million migrants to enter the country. In recent months there have been a number of terror attacks in Germany, some apparently the work of migrants. There have also been other problems, including multiple sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve.
According to Spiegel, Albakr was suspected of having links to Isis and had reportedly spent several months in Turkey, though his activities there are still unclear. He entered Germany in 2015 where he was "audited" by security services. The website quoted Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière (CDU) as saying that it was not clear when Albakr was radicalised.