Police in Germany have launched an investiation into whether a 12 year old boy made a bomb before planting it at festive market.
The bomb plot was revealed on Friday, raising new worries about the potential for young people to be radicalised by Islamist extremists to carry out terror attacks. This year alone, there have been three attacks in Germany carried out by young people who killed themselves and injured several others.
The boy who is alleged to have been involved in the latest plot is understood to be Iraqi-German. He is now under the protection of local youth authorities. Under German law, no one under the age of 14 can be charged with a crime, so detectives will be looking at the boy’s family and friends in a bid to see whether anyone else influenced him or was involved.
Federal prosecutors in Germany have confirmed that a nail bomb was found in Ludwigshafen, the town where the boy lives. Mayor Eva Lohse said the boy was now being held in a secure place to make sure he did not pose a danger to himself or others.
It comes following an evacuation of part of the town around the city hall after the discovery of the bomb. The boy had put the device inside a bin close to the town centre. Police say that the device used materials which had been taken from fireworks. But, while flammable, they do not believe it would have been capable of exploding. It is understood that the boy may have received instructions on how to make the device via a messenger app.
The latest incident comes after a teenageer girl knifed a police officer in Hanover, claiming she was carrying out the attack on behalf of Islamic State. Meanwhile, an axe-wielding 17-year-old boy attacked a number of passengers on a train, before he was shot dead by police.