Syrian man detained with knife near Berlin synagogue

Two guards protecting a Berlin synagogue in the district of Mitte detained a Syrian man who apparently sought to enter the building with a knife.

According to a report in the Bild newspaper, the Damascus-born man said “Allahu Akhbar” or “God is Great” – a phrase frequently uttered before or during radical Islamist terrorist attacks.

The guards drew their firearms and police were notified. A police spokeswoman said the guards kept their weapons holstered but the man ignored them. The security guards said “Knife away and stop immediately.”

The Bild reported that the Syrian man did not drop the knife and repeated sentences in Arabic. The guards remained at distance with their firearms out until police appeared and sprayed an irritant gas in the face of the man.

The authorities arrested the man and no additional weapons were found on him or in his apartment. There were no injuries.

The police released the man from custody.

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