Muslim German wanted for attack plan probably not in country
A German convert to Islam who is wanted by police on suspicion of planning a suicide attack is probably not in Germany, federal police said Sunday.
A three-week-long nationwide manhunt with wanted posters and online pictures has prompted 333 reports from the public about possible sightings of the man, Eric Breininger, 21, and his friend Houssain al-Malla, 23.
They were last seen among Islamist radicals in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Breininger did not become a Muslim until he was nearly grown up.
Confirming a report in the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the BKA federal police headquarters in Wiesbaden, central Germany, said none of the tip-offs had produced hard evidence of Breininger being on German soil.
His whereabouts were still unknown. Asked if Breininger still posed a danger to Germany, a BKA spokeswoman would only say, "The search with public help is continuing."
Both men face arrest on suspicion of membership of a terrorist group, which is a crime under German law.
A video released earlier this year by Islamists showed Breininger with an AK-47 rifle on his shoulder, speaking of dying an Islamic martyr's death.
Bild am Sonntag said police last week reviewed footage from closed-circuit TV (CCTV) security cameras at Frankfurt Airport after witnesses claimed they saw Breiniger in an air-freight zone, but nothing was found.
Another tip-off claimed he was seen driving a red Mercedes car in the west of Germany, but that too proved inaccurate. Yet another witness claimed to have seen Breininger driving the same car in the Balkans.
The spokeswoman declined to discuss the individual reported sightings with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa .