German Police Arrest Syrian Migrant With IS Links

BERLIN (Reuters) -
Policemen arrive at a shopping centre in which a shooting was reported in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016. Situation after a shooting in the Olympia shopping centre in Munich is unclear. (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)
German policemen arrive at a shopping center in Munich, southern Germany, after a shooting attack in July. (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)

German police said on Wednesday that initial investigations into a 16-year-old Syrian arrested at a refugee hostel near Cologne showed that the suspect had contact with someone who had links to the Islamic State terror group.

It was unclear whether the teenager, who police said appeared to have been radicalized recently, was planning any sort of attack.

On Tuesday, police in Cologne had said an initial assessment had pointed to a “serious threat” but gave no further details.

“An evaluation of the young man’s mobile phone proves contacts to a person living abroad who has IS links and who wanted to win over the young Syrian for Islamist activities,” said the police in a statement on Wednesday.

Germany is on high alert after militant attacks in France and Belgium this year that have killed dozens of people and Germans are especially fearful about security risks after last year’s influx of about 1 million migrants.

In July, Islamic State claimed responsibility for two attacks in Bavaria.

Police arrested three Syrian members of Islamic State this month, brought into Germany by the same network that smuggled terrorists into France to carry out deadly attacks last November.