The 13-year-old “junior jihadi” who attempted to plant nail bombs at a German Christmas market was in the care of a known Salafist psychologist according to new reports.Last December, shortly before the Berlin Christmas Market terror attack which killed 12 and injured 56 others, a 12-year-old boy attempted to set off nail bombs at a Christmas Market in Ludwigshafen. Newly released information has shown that he was under psychological care and the man caring for him was a known radical Islamic Salafist, Kronen Zeitung reports.
The boy, now 13-years-old, had built crude homemade bombs using nails and gunpowder he has acquired from fireworks. When he attempted to set off the bombs, the devices failed to ignite as not enough pressure was able to build up for an explosion to occur.
According to prosecutors, the boy was in a shelter facility and had expressed a desire to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria. As a result, he was kept under care by several people including a psychologist with known connections to the radical Islamist scene.
German broadcaster ARD claimed the 30-year-old Salafist had looked after the young boy for weeks and the information was later confirmed to them by the ministry involved. After authorities found out about the man’s connections to radical Islam, they took him off the child’s case.
The man, originally from Baden-Württemberg, was said to have been involved with the Salafist group “The True Religion” who handed out copies of the Quran. The group was raided by German police in November of last year and accused of inciting hatred.
The psychologist was also found to have posted sympathetic comments on his Facebook page to Salafist groups as well as anti-Semitic, anti-Israel imagery.
The psychologist had been employed by a volunteer youth agency and was not flagged as an Islamist for weeks because he delayed providing a voluntary background check. Only after praying with the 13-year-old and teaching him the Quran for six weeks was he relieved of his duties.
The organisation involved has now changed their policy so that volunteers will have to submit a background check first before they will be able to work with children as a result of the case.
Salafists and terrorist groups like Islamic State have been recruiting young Muslims intentionally which has led to many underage Muslims committing acts of terror like 15-year-old Safia S. in Hanover, who stabbed a policeman, and a 16-year-old Syrian caught plotting an attack in Cologne.