With a large-scale operation, the police in Essen may have prevented a right-wing extremist-motivated assassination attempt on a student. A special task force (SEK) arrested a 16-year-old on Thursday night who, according to North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU), “is strongly suspected of having planned an attack”. The youth told a whistleblower that he wanted to place bombs in his school. With their operations, the police may have “prevented a nightmare,” said Reul in Düsseldorf. The student is currently being interrogated.

The SEK gained access to the apartment where the young person lives at 4:20 a.m., Reul said. The parents were also present. The student is currently being interrogated.

The arrested person is being investigated on suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state. The Düsseldorf public prosecutor’s office responsible for terrorism has taken over the investigation, spokesmen for the authority and the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of the Interior announced on Thursday.

The SEK gained access to the young person’s apartment at 4:20 a.m., Reul said. The parents were also present. During the access, the police found 16 tubular bodies. Clocks were attached to some, and some were prepared with nails on the outside.

The officials also found mixed explosives that were probably intended to be used to fill these barrels, the minister said. “The material secured so far is “functional, but not operational”. In addition, a self-made firearm and a crossbow with arrows were seized, as well as spears and other stabbing weapons.

In the suspect’s apartment, the investigators also discovered “clearly xenophobic and right-wing extremist material”. Among them were numerous right-wing extremist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim documents as well as drawings of SS runes. A manifesto was also found in which he rants about several people he says he hates.

According to the interior minister, there are indications that the young person has “massive mental health problems and suicidal thoughts”. His notes could therefore also be read as an “urgent call for help from a desperate young man,” said Reul. At the moment there is no indication of any accomplices. The youth has not been noticed by the police.

After the SEK had searched the youth’s home, the police moved out with a large contingent to the Don Bosco high school in Essen-Borbeck and to the secondary school at Borbeck Castle. “We can confirm that the suspect is a 16-year-old German student at the Don Bosco High School,” the police wrote on Twitter. Before that, he attended secondary school.

A number of police cars could be seen in front of the Catholic high school, which is attended by almost 800 students. Police officers guarded the school grounds. At midday, more than 120 police officers and ten explosives detection dogs were still on duty in the high school and junior high school. So far, no explosive devices have been found during the search of the schools, Reul explained. “Every corner of the classroom is turned inside out,” said the Minister of the Interior.

“We received indications that a crime was planned in the school,” it said on the high school’s website. “In order to examine the school for evidence, we had to block access to the school today in consultation with the police.” It can be assumed that classes will go back to normal on Friday. According to the newspaper “NRZ”, high school exams should actually be written on Thursday.



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