(JTA) – German police found explosives and antisemitic, far-right literature at the home of a teenager they suspect of planning a terrorist attack at a school. Federal officers took the 16-year-old suspect, who was not named in the German media, into custody on Thursday, the Tagesschau news site reported. He is suspected of planning to bomb a high school in Essen, a city about 250 miles west of Berlin.
Separately, German police are investigating a suspected arson at a Jewish cemetery near Cologne. Both incidents closely followed the release of a report indicating a 28% rise in antisemitic hate crimes in 2021. In the incident in Cologne on Wednesday evening, an unidentified person poured a flammable substance on the wall around the Jewish cemetery of Bocklemünd, a western suburb of Cologne, Rundschau Online reported. Police are investigating whether the incident was an antisemitic hate crime, the report said. The report published Tuesday by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community recorded 3,027 antisemitc incidents in 2021 – a 28% increase over the 2020 tally. In the same report, the ministry recorded a decrease in the number of other types of hate crimes, including anti-Muslim crimes; anti-Christian crimes and anti-foreigner hate crimes.
Main Photo: German police guard the Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag, before the German presidential election in Berlin, February 12, 2017. (Photo credit: REUTERS)