German special police forces arrested a Syrian man in a raid on his apartment Tuesday after U.S. intelligence officials tipped that he was planning an extremist attack, according to an Associated Press report.
The AP reported that the Syrian man, whose name wasn’t given, is a 26-year-old “radical Islamist” who came to Germany in 2014 as an asylum-seeker and had been living in the country with “protected” status.
He had allegedly planned an attack in Germany designed to “kill and injure a maximum number of people,” federal prosecutors said in a statement.
Officials aren’t disclosing in any detail information about the individual or his reported planned attack, but prosecutors say the individual had learned how to construct bombs online and spoke of planning an attack in internet chats.
The individual was under surveillance for several months before his arrest.
A U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity told the AP that the tipped information had come from law enforcement and intelligence cooperation between American and German authorities.
Germany has been rolling up the welcome mat for asylum-seekers
Germany welcomed more than 1 million Syrian immigrants seeking asylum during the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2016, and in just a few years, Syrians became the third-largest group of foreigners living in the country.
The open-door policy toward Syrian asylum-seekers was controversial at the time as some believed it would overthrow the culture and unnecessarily open the country up to terrorist threat.
Lately, Germany has been closing the window on asylum applications and ramping up deportations.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced earlier this year that, in 2018, Germany received about 185,000 asylum applications, a drop of 17 percent from the previous year, and much fewer than the high of 890,000 in 2015.
“We now have the problem under control. We have put things in order,” Seehofer said. “We offer protection for people who are vulnerable. However, the population will only accept asylum rights if we can repatriate those who don’t need to be protected.”