Revealed: The giant German refugee camp where Syrian ‘bomb plotter’ hid for a year

The ‘Syrian refugee’ who was plotting a terror attack in Europe spent a year in one of Germany’s largest refugee camps claiming generous handouts of up to €370 a month – under the noses of police.

Set behind thick, iron bars in a quiet, leafy suburb of Chemnitz, Germany, the Refugee Centre houses over 500 people until they are granted official asylum status.

It was here that Syrian Jaber Albakr, arrested on suspicion of planning to blow up a Berlin airport, spent a year living alongside genuine immigrants and claiming monthly benefits of €370.


Residents in Chemnitz, where thousands of refugees are housed, have spoken of their fears about terrorism, with one asking: ‘How many more are there?’

The 22-year-old slipped into the country in February last year, crossing over the Austrian border and apparently posing as a refugee.

He was picked up by Police near the German town of Rosenheim and the following day was registered in Munich as an asylum seeker.

The next day he was taken to the refugee camp in Chemnitz.


Officially called the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, asylum seekers are allowed to come and go as they please, although guards check the ID papers of all those trying to enter.

According to sources, Albakr lived with 10 other people in one room.

Today pictures emerged showing him pinned down and tied up with electrical cable by fellow Syrians before they called the police.

Jaber Albakr was detained on Sunday in Leipzig in eastern Germany after three days on the run following a tip-off that he may have been looking for associates in the city.

Syrians he met at a city train station via an online forum on refugee accommodation, recognised the 22-year-old’s face from ‘wanted’ posters and invited him home before tying him up and raising the alarm.

One man can be seen holding Albakr in a headlock while his feet are tied together using a cable from an electrical appliance.

It is believed that after his two countrymen realised he was wanted, they also knelt on him until the police arrived.

Despite tweeting their jubilation that the suspect had been captured, police will face searching questions about how he was able to apparently prepare for an attack.

In June last year his status as an asylum seeker was officially granted, and nine months later he was provided with a shared apartment with other refugees in the town of Eilenberg, close to the city of Leipzig.


But rather than find work, attend language classes or attempt to assimilate into his new environment, Albakr apparently spent his time skulking in his room and avoiding contact with people.

Three months later Albakr was relocated by the authorities back to Chemnitz where he was put into a three-bedroomed apartment with another Syrian and two refugees from Afghanistan.

The apartment is just a 15-minute walk from the flat raided by police on Saturday which was found to contain bomb-making equipment.


And it is a 20-minute walk from the local Mosque in Chemnitz.

Imam Abdulsalam Absi told MailOnline: ‘He kept a very low profile and no one I have spoken to about him had ever seen him, let alone heard of him.

‘There are around 4,000 Muslims in Chemnitz so maybe someone knew him.

‘But he never attended prayers and he never mixed with us.’

The reason for the move from Eilenberg to Chemnitz is unknown but he was soon causing trouble with his new flatmates, often erupting into violence, neighbours say.

After three months in the new apartment city authorities moved in and the feuding refugees were rehoused.

It was then that Albakr apparently disappeared, until police raided the apartment owned by an associate who was arrested on Saturday at the train station in Chemnitz and who is still being quizzed by anti-terror cops.

He has now been identified by as  a 33-year-old Syrian refugee who appeared in Chemnitz in July this year.

Police spokesman Tom Barnhardt said: ‘He was registered in November 2015, applied for asylum in December 2015, and this was granted in March 2016.

‘From March 29, 2016 he lived in Viersen, before moving to Chemnitz on 12th July 2016.’

His arrival in Chemnitz coincides with Albakr’s at the flat he was later expelled from for violence.

It is now known that after being told he would have to leave, Albakr moved in with the other refugee and lived there for three weeks allegedly constructing a bomb to blow up a Berlin airport.

And it was during this period that he came to the attention of Germany’s security and intelligence services after they apparently picked up internet chatter between him and suspected ISIS terrorists.

Police spokesman Tom Bernhardt confirmed: ‘From mid-September the Federal Intelligence Service and several regional offices for protection of the constitution first began surveillance on Albakr.’


It is claimed that Albakr had also been searching the internet for instructions on how to make a bomb and the materials he needed.

Security officials are now trying to establish when and where Albakr became radicalised.

But for locals whose lives have been turned upside down after finding a terrorist living in their midst, one question remains.

Edyta Muszynska, 27, told MailOnline: ‘They have caught one, maybe two terrorists, but how many more are there here?’

It has now emerged that Germany’s security services had been aware of the threat of a terrorist attack for several weeks.