German police say a Syrian man arrested after a two-day manhunt probably had links to so-called Islamic State (IS).
Jaber al-Bakr, who arrived in Germany as a refugee, was detained in a flat in the eastern city of Leipzig early on Monday. He had been tied up there.
He had sought help from another Syrian, who alerted police after letting Mr. al-Bakr sleep at his flat, reports say.
The hunt began after police found very volatile explosives at Mr. al-Bakr’s flat in Chemnitz, south of Leipzig.
In the initial raid in Chemnitz early on Saturday, Mr. al-Bakr, 22, evaded capture as officers fired a warning shot in a botched attempt to stop him.
“The methods and behaviour of the suspect suggest an IS context,” said Saxony State Police chief Joerg Michaelis.
He said the suspect had researched bomb-making on the internet. “It is reasonable to assume that an explosives belt was nearly ready, or had been prepared already,” he said.
Police found a detonator, explosives and a kilo of chemicals in the Chemnitz flat.
Mr. Michaelis said the substance appeared to be TATP, a homemade explosive used in the deadly jihadist attacks in Paris last year and Brussels in March.
Security sources referred to Mr. al-Bakr’s apartment as “a virtual bomb-making lab”, and carried out a controlled explosion. German authorities feared a possible plan to target an airport in Berlin.
As the search for the suspect broadened, a police commando unit arrested another man in Chemnitz, blasting open the door of his home.
However, it was not until late on Sunday night that police were given a tip-off from another Syrian man living in Leipzig who had been contacted by Jaber al-Bakr from the city’s main station.
At 00:42 on Monday morning, police burst into the flat in the Paunsdorf area of the city and found the suspect already tied up, Germany’s Spiegel website reported.