A teenage Syrian refugee accused of plotting to commit "a serious act of violence threatening state security" on behalf of the Islamic State found himself on trial Monday in Cologne, Germany.
The 16-year-old refugee was arrested in September after members from a local mosque and those connected with the asylum shelter in which he had been living reported him to the authorities. The police deemed the teen to be a "serious threat" after they discovered he had been in touch with jihadists via his cell phone and had shown a willingness to act violently on their behalf, according to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The refugee's messages revealed that the radicals had given the teenager "concrete instructions" for how to build and operate a bomb, the prosecutors found.
The refugee's messages revealed that the radicals had given the teenager "concrete instructions" for how to build and operate a bomb, the prosecutors found. In addition, officials recovered a battery pack, butane gas cartridges, 70 sewing needles and other items used in manufacturing bombs where the refugee lived inside the shelter, DPA national news agency reported.
The teen's trial, which began Monday, is expected to last until March 20 "behind closed doors," due to his status as a minor. Should he be convicted, the teen would face a five-year-maximum detention, also due to his status as a minor.
The accused Syrian refugee arrived in Germany with his family in 2015. Nearly 900,000 other migrants took advantage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's "open door" asylum policy that year. The influx of unassimilated Muslim migrants has caused a significant uptick in German sexual assaults and incidents of terrorism.
The deadliest attack Germany suffered following the massive influx of refugees occurred in December when a radicalized truck driver rampaged through a Berlin Christmas market and killed 12 people while wounding 48 others.
Nevertheless, Merkel has obstinately stuck with her "open door" refugee policy and ignored President Donald Trump's warnings of importing terror threats through improperly vetted refugees and immigrants.
"We have a responsibility. The European Union has a responsibility to bear, accepting those refugees," Merkel said during a speech at the Munich Security Conference Saturday. "Just think, Cyprus, after all, is a neighboring state to Syria, so you see the external borders of the Union are the borders that separate us from those areas where people amass in great numbers ... [W]e cannot simply say it's got nothing to do with us; we have to deal with this issue."