Saturday, December 17, 2016

12 year old in Germany attempted to detonate a nail bomb at a Christmas market

The Christmas market in Ludwigshafen, Germany. NBC/EPA.

A 12 year old boy in Germany attempted to detonate a nail bomb at a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen Germany. NBC News. The suspect was of Iraqi descent but was born in Germany. The device was found by a member of the public and the bomb squad destroyed it in a controlled detonation. The bomb was made of a glass bottle stuffed with gunpowder taken from fireworks and laced with nails. The boy had made a 2nd attempt 9 days before but it is unclear if he used the same device. The boy had links to ISIS and had wanted to join the group in Iraq. Since the boy was under aged, he will not be charged with a crime but will be put into foster care. 

My Comment:
This happened yesterday but I missed the story until now. It's an extremely serious attack that probably only failed because of dumb luck. I have to say that whoever pointed out that bomb to the police is a hero and deserves a lot of credit. Whoever that person is should be honored for doing the right thing. 

I'm not sure how dangerous this kind of bomb was. My initial reaction is that a 12 year old wouldn't be that good at making a bomb. But if he really was reading stuff from ISIS it's very possible that this device would be more dangerous then one would think. It's also possible that he had help from an adult. From the bare description in the article it seems like that if placed correctly it could have killed and injured quite a few people. The bomb doesn't seem that different then the one that was used in New York City recently. 

It is rather shocking that a 12 year old would try to kill a bunch of people for ISIS. ISIS has long tried to use children as weapons and have done some horrible things in Iraq and Syria. I have posted multiple times about ISIS using children as executioners and their Nigerian affiliate, Boko Haram have gone so far as to use children as suicide bombing. With that pedigree it's not surprising that ISIS would try to recruit a child as a bomber. They have done way worse... 

The attack also brings up the question of what the hell do you do with a 12 year old that tried to murder a bunch of people for ISIS. Germany can't prosecute him because of their laws but they are putting him into foster care. That just sounds like a recipe for disaster. After all this was a radicalized person and I hope whoever is taking care of him is capable of deprogramming him. If they can't, then it is very possible that the boy is still a threat. 

I also have to point out that this boy wasn't part of the massive refugee wave that hit Europe in the past couple of years. He was a native born German, even if he was of Iraqi descent. He was presumably a 2nd or even 3rd generation German citizen. It just goes to show that the problem of immigration from Muslim countries doesn't end in the 1st generation. Indeed, it seems that the 2nd and 3rd generation are often a bigger threat then the 1st. 

I wonder if the target was significant as well. On one hand, the boy may have just targeted a large gathering of people. Markets are a easy target no matter what season it is, so it might just have been a matter of it being an attractive place for a terror attack. 

The other possibility is that it was targeted because it was a Christmas market. ISIS has long had a problem with Christianity and have targeted them in multiple terror attacks in Europe. It is very possible that this boy had been instructed to attack a Christmas market because he knew Christians were there. 

It's also possible it was for both reasons. ISIS is smart enough that they could have multiple consideration when choosing targets. The problem is that I doubt a 12 year old would be smart enough alone to pick a target like this. It seems to me that he was being helped quite a bit. He may even had help making the bomb. If that is the case then I hope that the people helping him are caught soon before they recruit someone else... 

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