May 31, 2017 / 2:39 PM / a year ago

Alleged Berlin suicide attacker released for lack of evidence: prosecutors

BERLIN (Reuters) - A 17-year-old Syrian boy who was detained for allegedly plotting a suicide bombing attack in Berlin was released on Wednesday after investigators failed to find concrete evidence against him, prosecutors said.

The boy, who arrived in Germany as an unaccompanied refugee from the Syrian civil war, was taken into custody on Tuesday. Prosecutors found no evidence that he had been planning an atrocity after searching his phone and internet tablet.

“No concrete evidence was found that he was planning a crime that endangered the state,” a spokesman for prosecutors in Potsdam said, adding that there was also no evidence that he was linked to any foreign militant organization.

“This is not enough for detention, so he is free again,” the spokesman added of the boy, who was detained in the Uckermark region north-east of Berlin.

Memories are still fresh in Germany of the Berlin Christmas market attack last December, in which 12 people were killed by a failed asylum seeker who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Last Wednesday, police arrested four suspected Islamists in dawn raids in Berlin as the German capital geared up for a long weekend of mass gatherings, capped by a joint appearance by Chancellor Angela Merkel and former U.S. president Barack Obama.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Catherine Evans

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