German Army officer disguised as Syrian refugee arrested over suspected attack plot
The German Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) as well as the prosecutor’s office of Hesse are investigating a 28-year-old first lieutenant of Bundeswehr who was arrested on Thursday in the town of Hammelburg, Bavaria. The arrest was accompanied by searches at 16 locations across Germany, Austria, and France, where the suspect was stationed in the past.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Nadia Niesen of the Hesse prosecutor’s office said the suspect also had a potential accomplice – a 24-year-old student who might have been involved in the plot. Investigators secured valuable evidence during searches, including laptops, mobile phones, as well as firearms and ammunition falling under weapons control laws, she said.
The officer in question came to a refugee facility in the city of Giessen and was registered as a Syrian refugee in late December 2015, according to Die Welt. Shortly afterwards in January of last year, the officer, whose name has been withheld, applied for asylum in Bavaria and was allocated a room at a local refugee facility.
German authorities granted him asylum even though he was unable to speak Arabic. His German background miraculously went unnoticed as well, Die Welt reported.
According to Bild newspaper, the officer was first spotted by Austrian police when he attempted to conceal a 7.65mm pistol at Vienna International Airport.
The investigation that started after the incident indicates that the man might have been plotting a “serious act of violence” in order to smear refugees, Die Welt reports. Investigators say that the foiled attack might have xenophobic motives.