12-year-old German-Iraqi boy arrested for failed bombing attempt: report


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People crowd the Christmas market in front of Vienna's City Hall on November 26, 2015
Joe Klamar (AFP/File)People crowd the Christmas market in front of Vienna's City Hall on November 26, 2015

Attempted bombing reportedly failed due to faulty detonator; boy was possibly controlled by IS

A twelve-year-old boy arrested earlier this month for attempting to carry out a bombing at a German Christmas market was possibly controlled by the Islamic State, a report by the German FOCUS magazine said.

Citing judicial and security authorities, FOCUS reported that the German-Iraqi boy, attempted to set off a self-built nail bomb at the Christmas market in the southern German city of Ludwigshafen.

In addition to the public prosecutor's office in Frankenthal, the Federal Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation into the failed attack.

Given the suspect's young age, both investigations will likely be halted as children under the age of 14 enjoy penal immunity in Germany.

According to the investigators, the "strongly religiously radicalized" boy was "instigated" by an "unknown member" of the Islamic State group.

The unnamed boy placed a backpack containing an explosive device in a bush near the Ludwigshafen town hall on the 5th of December. Passersby noticed the suspicious bag and notified police, who safely detonated the device, the report said.

This incident followed an earlier attempt on November 26, when the boy planned to set of the same device on the busy Christmas market.

Both attempts failed because of a faulty detonator. 

According to FOCUS, the boy had previous plans to leave for Syria in the summer of 2016 to join the Islamic State.

Following his arrest in Ludwigshafen, the boy was placed in the care of the state with the consent of his parents.