A Syrian refugee who was suspected of the planning of a bomb attack on an airport in Berlin strangled himself with his own shirt while in detention, said law enforcement officials on Thursday.
Investigators believe Jaber Albakr, who was 22 and arrived in 2015 in Germany, was close to carrying out a terrorist attack. Police in Germany said that Albakr’s behavior suggested he was linked with ISIS.
Law enforcement officials arrested Albakr on Sunday following a two-day manhunt.
On the night of October 12, the suspect took his own life while in a prison hospital, said German officials.
Sebastian Gemkow a Justice Minister from Saxony state in Germany said that Albakr strangled himself with a shirt he was wearing but it was not clear if the terror suspect had hanged himself while inside his own cell.
The minister said that Albakr had met with a psychologist earlier on Tuesday but the assessment of the psychologist was that suicide was not likely.
At that time, authorities opted to reduce the number of checks on the prisoner from every 15 minutes to every 30.
No video surveillance inside his cell was conducted while he was there in accordance with German law, said the minister.
It was reported earlier online that Albakr was under surveillance 24 hours a day while in custody and had been labeled a suicide risk.
Albakr was taken into custody Sunday after a pair of Syrians had tied him to a sofa inside an apartment in Leipzig and called police.
Officials from the crime official said Albakr befriended the Syrians at a Leipzig train station and asked if he could stay with them.
The two Syrians saw on social media that authorities were looking for Albakr and told police to come to their apartment where he was staying.
The capture of Albakr ended a two-day manhunt and his arrest raised new questions about whether authorities had botched a Saturday attempt to detain the suspect.
A Saturday raid in Chemnitz, in what appeared to be Albakr’s home, police found a mix of different explosives that weighed over 1.5 kilograms.
The prosecutor’s office in Germany said the explosives could have caused substantial damage in amounts that were much smaller.