German teen detained in suspected school attack plot

BERLIN (AP) — A 16-year-old student was detained in Germany for allegedly plotting an attack on 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.

In addition, state interior minister Herbert Reul said police found bomb-making materials in the teen’s possession, according to the news agency dpa.

The student is suspected of plotting an attack on the Don-Bosco-Gymnasium, the school he currently attends, or another local school he previously attended, the Realschule am Schloss Borbeck, police said.

Police told the broadcaster ZDF that they had evidence of a crime in which “weapons played a role,” but didn’t offer more specifics.

As of Thursday, the suspect was in police custody.

Both schools were closed Thursday because of the police operations. A statement on the Don-Bosco-Gymnasium’s website Thursday morning said they had “received indications that a crime was being planned at the school.”

Thomas Kutschaty, the state parliamentary leader of the center-left SPD, tweeted Thursday that reports of the alleged plot “shocked me deeply.” He praised the “high level of civil courage and the courageous intervention of the police” that kept students and teachers safe.