A young “Austrian” man is being charged with various terrorism-related offenses, among them recruiting an even younger “German” boy to plant a nail bomb in a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen.
(See Egri’s report from more than a year ago: “12-Year-Old Boy Plants Nail Bomb in Ludwigshafen — For ISIS”)
The older fellow will go on trial for his crimes in the spring. I don’t know what has become of the 12-year-old would-be nail-bomber since last winter — presumably he’s still in a “shelter”, waiting to attain his majority so he can walk free again.
18-year-old man from Vienna wanted to use child as an assassin
The prosecution believes only a technical failure of the homemade bomb prevented the crime.
Vienna — If the claims of the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s office are correct, charges brought against an 18-year-old arrested on a street in the Vienna district of Favoriten on January 20, 2017 are more serious than previously known.
Among other things, the teenager is said to have induced a 12-year-old German to attempt a suicide bombing in Ludwigshafen with a homemade explosive device, which only failed because the bomb could not be detonated.
The 18-year-old, who has been held in custody for almost a year, is accused by the prosecution (in a 55-page-long indictment) of, among other things, attempting to incite murder and attempted intentional endangerment using explosives. Additional charges include membership in a terrorist organization: he had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State.
According to the indictment, which has not yet been finalised, the 18-year-old is supposed to have sent the 12-year-old not only instructions in the form of a PDF file on the making of a bomb, in which he described himself as a “terrorist chef”. He is also alleged to have instructed a child under the age of criminal responsibility to commit the attack on a Christmas market and not — as the child had intended — in a church.
Christmas market was the target
Thereafter the 12-year-old is said to have marched with a homemade bomb, hidden in a shoulder bag, to a Christmas market about 900 meters away from the Ludwigshafen city hall center on 26 November 2016.
Up until that time his correspondent had encouraged him. “Put a thick jacket on… Then go behind a stand, light the fuse and run away,” could be read in a WhatsApp message to the boy.
Because there was no explosion, the 12-year-old deposited the explosive device behind a bush, where it was found by the police on December 3, 2016.
The 12-year-old boy can not be held criminally responsible because of his age. The 18-year-old denies the alleged incitement to murder. He claims he did not know about the 12-year-old’s precise plans.
The youth also denies the other key charges, as his defense counsel Wolfgang Blaschitz stressed: “We will deny everything except for membership in the Islamic State.” His client was “certainly not Public Enemy Number One”.
Grown up without religion
The 18-year-old, whose parents are from Albania — they have Austrian citizenship and are, according to their own account, atheists — grew up without any contact with religion.
During a prison stay — when he was 16 years old he was sentenced to 29 months to a conditional prison sentence for felony robbery — he discovered Islam in the Vienna-Neustadt prison.
From then on he called himself “Sabur Ibn Gharib”, and after his release regularly visited different mosques, where he became radicalized within a short time.
The unemployed resident of Vienna was especially drawn to the preacher Mirsad O., alias “Ebu Tejma”, who has yet to be convicted in Graz.
Finally, the intent ripened inside him to commit a suicide attack, together with a young German woman, whom he had married in accordance with Islamic law on December 1, 2016 in Neuss.
To this end, he is said to have obtained plans for a bomb from the Internet, and together with a friend in Germany they constructed a “test bomb”.
According to the indictment, because the test was successful, the two young men wanted to carry out an attack in Germany. However, the 18-year-old was temporarily arrested on 9 December 2016 in Aachen and had to return to Austria.
As a result of evidence provided by the German authorities, who warned about the 18-year-old, he was eventually arrested in the Austrian capital.
If the state court approves the indictment, it is likely to go to trial by jury in the spring.