A 12-year-old boy is placed in a juvenile care facility after attempting to bomb a Christmas market and town hall in Germany.
According to officials, the boy, who is of Iraqi descent, has been highly radicalized and instructed by an ISIS member, who is yet to be recognized. Apparently, it is the boy's second attempt to bomb a public place in Germany. The first one was at a Christmas marketplace in Ludwigshafen on November 26. He failed his first operation and decided to try it out again near the town hall.
The boy filled a bag with nails carrying the explosive device and planted it by the town hall and shopping center on December 5. A passerby noticed the suspicious rucksack and alerted the authorities.
Special Forces were dispatched to handle the situation where it has been learned that the bag's contents are fireworks components that are highly flammable but not altogether explosive.
"Tests revealed that the mixture was combustible but not explosive. There was no danger to the surrounding buildings," stated the officials, according to Independent.
Local prosecutor Hubert Strober stated that calling the planted device as a "bomb" is an exaggeration as it posed no apparent harm to the civilians and the facilities. Mayor Eva Lohse stated that the boy is currently being kept in a secure place and therefore 'presents no public threat.'
Criminal proceedings for the boy could not be processed as he is under Germany's legal age of facing prosecution.
According to the Local, the boy received instructions from ISIS members through the encrypted instant messaging service Telegram.
"Either the child was trained by an adult, or there was information available online," says Nikita Malik, a researcher at the London-based Quilliam Foundation, according to Newsweek. "Children are victims in the process of radicalization, as they do not have the adult experiences, life knowledge, or cognitive abilities to battle with extreme ideologies or extreme violence."
Strober neither refute nor affirm the boy's connections to ISIS, stating that currently the aim of the Federal Public Prosecutor's office is to investigate his motives.
"In cases in European countries, refugee children or even in this case a citizen of the country, can be at the risk of radicalization in very much the same way that a child would be at risk of sexual grooming. Usually there is an older adult or child involved who normalizes violence and extreme indoctrination or radicalization," Malik stated.