(BERLIN) Christmas market visitors in the western town of Ludwigshafen on Friday (December 16) reacted to the news that a 12-year old German-Iraqi boy tried to detonate a bomb at their local Christmas market last month and planted another explosive device near the town hall a couple of days later, which German prosecutors confirmed on Friday.
- Focus magazine cited security and judicial sources as saying the boy was "strongly radicalised".
- He was apparently instructed by an unknown member of the militant group Islamic State.
- A spokesman at the Federal Public Prosecutor Office in Karlsruhe confirmed that officials were investigating the case but declined to comment on any possible Islamic State link.
"Is this a new way to carry out catastrophes like this, with minors? It's a disgrace," said Christmas market visitor Klaus Wacker.
Another visitor, Simon Schmitt, added that the event wouldn't deter him from drinking his traditional "Gluehwein" (mulled wine) at the Christmas market.
"It can happen anywhere so the risk is the same everywhere. Just keep on drinking. That's all I can say. No seriously, it can happen anywhere and I'm thinking that just because this happened, people should not worry," he said.
Nobody was hurt in either of the incidents. The boy, born in Ludwigshafen in 2004, is below the age of criminal responsibility, meaning no formal proceedings were launched against him, Public Prosecutor Hubert Stroeber said.
The youth welfare office is taking care of the boy and the Federal Public Prosecutor Office is in charge of investigating whether there are any suspects linked to him, Stroeber added.
He said the boy left a backpack containing a self-made nail bomb at the Christmas market on November 26, but the device did not go off because the detonator apparently failed
He then planted another explosive device near the town hall of Ludwigshafen on December 5 but an "informant" called the police and specialists defused it, he said.
The Focus magazine report said evidence pointed to the child having thought about travelling to Syria last summer to join militants.
Merry Christmas from ISIS!