Germany inquires terror suspect’s death in jail

Oct 13, 2016, 6:12 AM EDT
Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere
(Source: NEXTConf/flickr)

Following widespread shock and disbelief over the death of a 22-year-old Syrian, Jaber al-Bakr, who was detained in Germany for planning bomb attacks, the government has launched an investigation into the incident. Bakr was arrested on Monday and he committed suicide in the prison cell by hanging himself with his T-shirt late on Wednesday. Bakr’s defense lawyer, Alexander Huebner, called his death a “judicial scandal,” adding that the Syrian was the best-guarded prisoner in Germany.

Huebner expressed shock and disbelief that Bakr could take his life in jail despite indications that he was a suicide risk, writes the BBC. Bakr, who had earlier attempted a suicide, was being checked by the prison officers barely more than once an hour, according to Germany's Bild newspaper.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere admitted that Bakr’s death comes as a setback for the authorities investigating the alleged bomb plot, reports The Guardian. Maiziere demanded a “quick and comprehensive explanation” from Saxony state authorities, which were earlier criticized after Bakr managed the escape them when they raided an apartment in the city of Chemnitz on Saturday.

Meanwhile, several sections in Germany demanded that the three Syrian refugees who played a key role in Bakr’s arrest on Monday be rewarded for their heroic efforts.