October 10: A Syrian refugee suspected of planning a bomb attack was detained by the German Police after a massive manhunt that lasted nearly two days. "It was unsafe, after all", said retiree Maria Haubold, dismissing the idea that refugees were a general threat to German society.
Meanwhile, Albakr's Syrian flatmate has been formally remanded in custody as a suspected co-conspirator of a "serious act of violence" while two other of his associates, who had been detained earlier, have been released.
Al-Bakr had sought refuge in the Leipzig apartment of another Syrian, who he met at the city's railway station.
"According to what we know, the preparations in Chemnitz are similar to the preparations for the attacks in Paris and Brussels", Thomas de Maiziere said in a statement.
The tip about the apartment came from the German interior intelligence services, authorities said.
Federal prosecutors said the suspect, Jaber al-Bakr, 22, was believed to be planning "an Islamic-motivated explosive attack in Germany".
Since escaping a first raid on his flat two days ago, Albakr had been the subject of a nationwide manhunt which also caused authorities to step up security at airports and other sensitive sites.
German police discovered 1.5 kg of extremely risky explosives in a flat in Chemnitz before detaining a Syrian refugee on suspicion of planning a bomb attack, the Office of the German General Prosecutor said Monday.
"Tired but overjoyed: we captured the terror suspect", police said after the arrest.
Joerg Michaelis, head of the state police in Saxony, said that al-Bakr had been arrested in Leipzig, in the apartment of other Syrians who had recognized the man from photographs circulated by the authorities over the weekend.
Two Syrians took him in, but immediately "tied him up when they realised that he was a wanted man".
German authorities have urged the public not to confuse refugees with "terrorists", but have acknowledged that more jihadists may have entered the country among the asylum seekers who arrived previous year.
A security official said there was no indication yet that Albakr was being directed by the Islamic State group, but that investigators still were combing through seized evidence. "I won't accept such a thing - especially here in Germany, the country that opened its door to us", he added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door policy on refugees was initially cheered by most Germans, but support has dwindled over the last 10 months following several terrorism incidents, including a pair of bungled Islamic State-inspired attacks by two "lone wolves" in which the suspects were the only people killed.
Khalil A. claimed asylum in December 2015 and was granted refugee status in March this year.
German authorities have urged the public not to equate refugees with "terrorists" but have acknowledged that more jihadists may have entered the country among the asylum seekers who arrived a year ago.