German-Iranian arrested for throwing Molotov cocktail at synagogue

The German-Iranian citizen is suspected of being responsible for multiple attacks on synagogues in Germany on November 18.

 Police officers guard the Essen synagogue after several bullet holes where found this morning in a nearby building in Essen, Germany, November 18, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHANE NITSCHKE)
Police officers guard the Essen synagogue after several bullet holes where found this morning in a nearby building in Essen, Germany, November 18, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHANE NITSCHKE)

A German-Iranian man was arrested on suspicion of committing arson at a synagogue in the city of Bochum in Germany on November 18, according to the Attorney General's Office in Düsseldorf.

The 35-year-old man was arrested after a witness testified that he tried to convince him to attack a synagogue in Dortmund on the same night of the attack in Bochum. 

The suspect's connection to the arson attack in Bochum was further established after he was identified in security camera footage from the site of the attack.

Police searched the suspect's apartment and car, confiscated his electronic devices and are looking for more accomplices.

A possible connection to the shooting attack in Essen

The damaged door of a synagogue is seen in Halle, Germany October 10, 2019, after two people were killed in a shooting (credit: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)The damaged door of a synagogue is seen in Halle, Germany October 10, 2019, after two people were killed in a shooting (credit: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)

The suspect might also have been responsible for an attack on an old synagogue in the city of Essen, where four shots were fired at the door on November 18, Nordrhein-Westfalen Interior Minister Reul told the press.

The investigation is now focusing on the question of the possible connection between the three attacks, which happened on the same night in neighboring cities. 

Iranian plans?

The witness who identified the suspect is a German-Iranian citizen as well. According to him, the suspect attempted to convince him to commit the attack by promising him that he would get an amnesty from Iranian authorities and be able to visit Iran once again without repercussions.

The police see this as a possible indication of the involvement of the Iranian secret service. Already in 2018, the German secret service told the press that Iran is preparing a list of possible Jewish targets to attack in Germany.