Syrian refugee in Germany tried to make a bomb before suicide: report

October 21, 2016 11:37 AM EDT

A undated handout picture released by the German police of a Syrian migrant Jaber Albakr. Albakr suspected of planning a bomb attack on a Berlin airport, committed suicide at a detencion centre in Leipzig, October 13, 2016. German Police Handout via REUT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - A Syrian refugee who committed suicide in prison after being arrested on suspicion of planning an attack on a Berlin airport experimented with chemicals in August in an attempt to make a bomb, a magazine reported on Friday.

Der Spiegel said Jaber Albakr, detained earlier this month after police discovered about 1.5 kg (3 lb) of explosives in his flat in the eastern city of Chemnitz, caused 6,000 euros ($6,525) of damage in a serviced apartment.

Pictures of the kitchen taken by the owner of the property in nearby Leipzig showed acid and other stains, Spiegel said, giving no source for its report.

The General Prosecutor's office, which has taken over the Albakr case, could not be reached for comment.

Officials in the state of Saxony have been criticized for letting Albakr slip away during a police raid on his Chemnitz apartment and then failing to prevent his suicide last week in prison in Leipzig.

Three Syrian refugees who Albakr approached for help at a train station in Leipzig tied him up in their apartment and handed him over to police after they realized he was wanted.

Weekly Welt am Sonntag reported at the weekend that, in a call to a contact on Oct. 7, Albakr said a "big airport in Berlin" was a good target for an attack using 2 kg of explosives.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; editing by John Stonestreet)

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