A German-Iraqi twelve-year-old boy has been arrested after trying to commit a terror attack at a Christmas market in Germany with a homemade nail bomb. He is also believed to be a member of Islamic State.
Police say that the first bombing attempt occurred on November 25th at the Christmas market in the town of Ludwigshafen in the Rhineland-Palatinate region. After the device failed to explode, the twelve-year-old boy then switched targets to the City Hall and planted a bomb there on December 5th.
Both bombs failed to detonate, and one security expert called the case “frightening”, reports Tagesspiegel.
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office said, “investigations have been carried out because of the discovery of a nail bomb in Ludwigshafen.” The prosecutors did not report the findings on the day they found them, choosing to wait until Friday. The authorities say that there are clues that assert the Islamic State terror group likely inspired the young boy and taught him how to make the nail bombs over the internet.
Experts say the bomb was packed with nails and glass and the explosive was a mixture from various fireworks and sparklers. They say that despite the material being flammable and combustible the devices lacked the ability to be explosive.
Police say that the twelve-year-old was born in Ludwigshafen to Iraqi parents and prosecutors say no charges have been laid against him because he is too young to appear in court. Attorney General Hubert Ströber said that the boy has been taken out of his parents’ care and is currently living in a youth hostel. Mr. Ströber said it is now up to the Youth Office to decide what to do with him.
The attempted attack is only the latest instance of Islamic State radicalising underage Muslims. Earlier this year, 15-year-old Safia S. attempted to kill a police officer with a knife and chat logs revealed that she had been in contact with Islamic State and had previously tried to join them in Syria.
German authorities and experts have expressed fears over Islamist internet recruitment videos and propaganda directed at underage Muslims. Wolfgang Trusheim, head of the Frankfurt state police, has warned of what he calls “hate children” who have been raised by radical Islamic Salafists or were radicalised online like the teens who attempted to bomb a Sikh temple in Essen earlier in the year.