November 16, 2015 / 5:33 PM / 2 years ago

German police detain Algerian in connection with Paris attacks

The Eiffel Tower is lit with the blue, white and red colours of the French flag in Paris, France, November 16, 2015, to pay tribute to the victims of a series of deadly attacks on Friday in the French capital.Benoit Tessier

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - German police have detained an Algerian man in a refugee reception centre in connection with the attacks in Paris, officials said on Monday.

The man, detained in the town of Arnsberg in western Germany, is being investigated on suspicion of having told Syrian refugees at the centre in recent days that fear and terror would be spread in the French capital.

He is also alleged to have spoken about a bomb. The senior public prosecutor in Arnsberg, Werner Wolff, said checks were being made into whether the allegations were credible.

"There is currently an investigation into whether the man is an accomplice or a confidant," said Ralf Jaeger, Interior Minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Jaeger added that there was no solid evidence at the moment that the attackers in Paris had a connection to North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

"There is also no concrete evidence that attacks are planned in NRW or the (German) federal republic," he said, adding that the situation was nonetheless "very serious".

The authorities had their eyes on some Salafi Islamists and German jihadists who had been in Syria and Iraq, said Jaeger.

"Fifty who have returned are known," he added.

In Friday evening's coordinated suicide bombings and shootings in Paris, 129 people were killed.

Reporting by Anneli Palmen; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Paul Carrel and Ralph Boulton

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