German authorities have detained a 17-year-old Syrian citizen outside of Berlin as he was suspected of planning a suicide attack in the German capital, according to officials.
Brandenburg police said that the teenager was detained in the county of Uckermark, which is northeast of Berlin. The police reportedly learned that the teen had sent a message to family members bidding them farewell and saying he “had joined the jihad.”
“Evidence of the planning of a concrete act has not yet been identified during the police investigation,” police said in a statement.
The Syrian teenager was identified by the state Interior Ministry’s office, though his name has yet to be released to the public. He is said to have come to Germany in 2015 as an unaccompanied minor and registered as an asylum-seeker. He has been living in the country since 2016 in a home for refugees in Uckermark.
German security officials have been arguing that the country is at the center of attention for several international terrorism groups. In December, a Tunisian citizen attacked a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring dozens.
Berlin, Germany’s capital, dates to the 13th century. Reminders of the city’s turbulent 20th-century history include its Holocaust memorial and the Berlin Wall’s graffitied remains. Divided during the Cold War, its 18th-century Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol of reunification. The city’s also known for its art scene and modern landmarks like the gold-colored, swoop-roofed Berliner Philharmonie, built in 1963.
The city has a population of 3,671,000.