German teenager arrested for plotting school attack

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BERLIN – A 16-year-old student has been arrested in Germany for plotting to attack a local secondary school in the western city of Essen after police seized weapons and bomb-making materials from his apartment, authorities said Thursday.

Officers searched the suspect’s apartment overnight and found spears and other sharp weapons, Essen police said.

Also, the state’s interior minister, Herbert Reule, said police had found the bomb-making material from the teenager, according to the news agency DPA.

Police said the student was planned to be attacked at Don-Bosco-Gymnasium, the school he currently attends, or another local school where he had previously attended.

Police told broadcaster ZDF that they had evidence of a crime where “weapons played a role”, but did not offer further specifics.

As of Thursday, the suspect was in police custody.

Two schools were closed on Thursday due to police activity. The Don-Bosco-Gymnasium’s website said in a statement Thursday morning that they had “received indications that a crime was being planned at the school.”

Center-left SPD state parliamentary leader Thomas Kutsachati tweeted Thursday that reports of the alleged conspiracy “deeply shocked me.” He praised the “high level of civic courage and the courageous intervention of the police” which kept students and teachers safe.

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