Schwerin, Germany—A Syrian teen has been arrested for planning a terrorist attack.
On Tuesday, German police arrested 19-year-old Yamen A. for “planning an Islamist-motivated attack with high explosives.”
From the emerging reports, the suspect had been quite close to launching a strike with chemicals.
He hasn’t been linked to any terrorist organization so far.
“[We] prevented a serious terror attack in Germany,” said German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in a statement.
And the arrest isn’t the first to happen. In 2017 alone, German federal law enforcement has investigated 900 terrorism-related cases. A 400% increase from last year.
The terror threat in Europe remains high.
France just ended a state of emergency that lasted two years. The emergency came as a result of consecutive Jihadist attacks, notably in Paris and Nice, that left 238 people dead. A new counter-terrorism law that allows French police and security services to close religious facilities, conduct pre-emptive searches, and restrict suspects’ movements was voted, instead.
Britain has suffered four strikes this year, once in Manchester with 22 dead and thrice in London with 14 killed.
In Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, five people were killed when a terrorist-driven truck charged in a crowded street.
In Spain, 16 people were killed when terrorists again used a van to ram a crowded street in Barcelona.
And Germany was hit twice recently; first in Berlin, where a terrorist drove a truck into a Christmas market killing 12 people and then in Ansbach, where a Jihadist denotated a bomb wounding 15 people.
The German government has responded to the terrorist threat by expanding surveillance laws and counter-terrorism measures. Law enforcement officers can now stop and search suspects as a pre-emptive measure. They can also detain a suspect for up to 14 days without charge.
But as the Syrian conflict draws to an end and scores of European Jihadists return to the continent, will these measures prove enough?
Let’s hope they do.