News & Politics

12-Year-Old Boy Attempts to Blow Up German Christmas Market

According to German prosecutors, a 12-year-old boy — described as “German-Iraqi” — tried to detonate a bomb at a Christmas market in the German town of Ludwigshafen. A few days after that, he planted an explosive device near the town hall.

Focus magazine cited security and judicial sources as saying the boy was “strongly radicalized” and apparently instructed by an unknown member of the militant group Islamic State.

A spokesman at the Federal Public Prosecutor Office in Karlsruhe confirmed that officials were investigating the case but declined to comment on any possible Islamic State link.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. Unfortunately, the boy, born in Ludwigshafen in 2004, is “below the age of criminal responsibility, meaning no formal proceedings were launched against him, Public Prosecutor Hubert Stroeber said.”

Youth welfare authorities are taking care of the boy and the federal prosecutor’s office is investigating if any other people were involved in the plots.

The explosive devices are familiar: at the Christmas market he left a backpack with a homemade nail bomb inside. The device failed to detonate. Several days later on December 5, he planted a device near the town hall in Ludwigshafen. Authorities were alerted by an anonymous “informant” of the device. Specialists retrieved the explosive and defused it.

A report in Focus magazine said there was evidence the child wanted to travel to Syria to join the militant terrorist cause.