Police blocked off the synagogue last Wednesday, and a worship service was canceled for that evening. Police employing sniffer dogs did not discover harmful objects in or around the synagogue.
A raid on an apartment where the teen lived led to the arrest of three more people, the ministry said. During the search, investigators did not locate bomb components, but confiscated cellphones and other items, which they will now examine. Sources said the 16-year-old told someone in an online conversation that he was planning an explosives attack on a synagogue, and the investigation led investigators to him.
Prosecutors told news agency DPA that the teen admitted to communicating with a bomb-making expert via the messaging app Telegram, but denied planning an attack on the synagogue. Two years ago, a German right-wing terrorist stormed a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle on Yom Kippur. That attack is widely regarded as one of the heinous anti-Semitic attacks in the country’s postwar history.
The attacker attempted to force his way into the synagogue, packed with 52 congregants. The terrorist was shot and murdered a 40-year-old woman on the street outside and a 20-year-old male at a nearby Kebab restaurant. Before carrying out the attack in the eastern German city of Halle on October 9, 2019, the terrorist attacker wrote anti-Semitic words and broadcast his intent of shooting live on a popular gaming site.
After the police operation in Hagen, Germany, on Thursday, September 16, 2021, the square in front of the entrance to the Jewish Community building is vacant. (AP Photo/Henning Kaiser)