A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in western Germany on suspicion of planning a possible attack on a Christmas market, authorities said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
The teenager was detained Tuesday during a search at his home, prosecutors in Duesseldorf said. A court in nearby Leverkusen ordered him kept in custody Wednesday on suspicion of planning and preparing a terror attack, they said in a statement.
The prosecutors said they could not give additional details for now.
The top regional security official, North Rhine-Westphalia state Interior Minister Herbert Reul, said the suspect had written in a chat group about attack plans and after a discussion of various scenarios, participants “agreed on a concrete plan to attack a Christmas market.”
“It seemed very concrete,” Reul told reporters of the alleged plan, about which he said he could not provide further details.
The boy's arrest came after German authorities received a tip from abroad about possible plans for an attack by a person in the region, Reul said, according to AP. The authorities quickly identified the suspect, who wasn't previously known to local security authorities, he added.
There was a second arrest, in Brandenburg state in eastern Germany, the minister he said he also could not give details about that.
Germany has been on high alert in recent years, following a series of terrorist attacks. The worst such attack took place in December of 2016, when Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri killed 12 people and injured dozens more when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin.
Tensions have risen since October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel and brutally massacred at least 1,200 people.
The country has seen a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. In one incident, a synagogue in the German capital of Berlin was firebombed by two assailants. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
In late October, police in the western German city of Essen arrested a man who plotted to attack a pro-Israel demonstration.