German police detain 4, including a 16-year-old, after receiving reports of threat against synagogue

Police in the German city of Hagen announced on Thursday that they have arrested four suspects, after a significant police force was deployed near a synagogue on Wednesday amid concerns about a possible attack.

In response to the reported risk to the synagogue, police imposed restrictions on traffic and pedestrians outside the religious site and surrounding area, with officers also searching several buildings as part of their investigation. The synagogue was forced to cancel an event due to the security situation.

The police didn’t state how they had acquired “information about a possible threat related to a Jewish institution in Hagen,” although the alert did coincide with the holiest day of the year for Jews – Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

On social media, the Hagen police force confirmed that “four arrests have taken place to date,” including the “identification and arrest of a 16-year-old.” According to German media outlets Der Spiegel and Bild, the country’s foreign intelligence service had informed police about receiving a tip indicating a teenager was planning an explosive attack on a Jewish institution. 

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German police respond to ‘possible threat’ at synagogue in Hagen as Jews mark Yom Kippur

Dusseldorf prosecutors are working with terrorism authorities in the region, with North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul stating during an inauguration for new police officers in Cologne that Hagen’s officers had “likely prevented” an attack with their swift response to the threat.

The security alert occurred two years after a far-right individual attacked a synagogoue in Halle and its surrounds, leading to his conviction for two murders and more than 60 counts of attempted murder.

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