Syrian teenager plotted bomb attack in Germany, police say

Police officers outside an apartment block in Schwerin on Tuesday.

Berlin (CNN)A Syrian teenager has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planning an attack using powerful explosives, a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor said Tuesday.

The 19-year-old man, known as Yamen A., was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning in Schwerin, northern Germany.
He is "suspected of having planned and made concrete preparations for an Islamist-motivated attack," spokeswoman Frauke Kohler said in a news conference.
    His aim was to "kill and wound as many people as possible," she said.
    The Syrian teen had researched bomb-making techniques online and had begun acquiring the necessary chemicals and materials to build an explosive device, including sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, Kohler said.
    Mobile phones and batteries found during a search of the suspect's home suggest that the bomb would have been triggered remotely, Kohler said. The apartments of other potential suspects were also searched on Tuesday.
    The location of the planned attack was not known.
    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere praised authorities for preventing a "serious terror attack."
    Kohler said there was no evidence that Yamen A. is a member of a terrorist organization, but revealed that the suspect had been in contact through social media with jihadists, including one who declared himself to be a "soldier of the caliphate" -- a possible reference to ISIS. "It is unclear to what extent this contact person was involved with the plans," Koehler added.
    Yamen A. arrived in Germany in the autumn of 2015 and obtained a temporary residence permit the following year, the interior minister for the state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern said in a statement Tuesday.
    The Syrian teen had been on the radar of German intelligence officials for "quite some time" before his arrest, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor told CNN on Wednesday.
    Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere praised federal security authorities Tuesday for preventing a "serious terror attack" in Germany.
    He also said that the threat level in the country remains high. "Germany, Europe and the West are in the target range of Islamist terrorism," he said.
    Twelve people were killed in an Islamist-related attack on a Christmas market in Berlin last December.
      Yamen A. will appear in front of a federal court judge on Wednesday.
      This story has been updated with the latest statement from the federal prosecutor's office on when the suspect became known to intelligence officials.