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Man is jailed for attempting to set a German synagogue on fire

A German court sentenced an 18-year-old man to two years in prison for attempting to carry out what prosecutors called an arson attack on a synagogue in the country’s southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg.

The teenager had planted nine petrol bombs in the yard of the synagogue in the city of Heilbronn in April last year. The attack was foiled when police, alerted about the man’s plans by a member of the public, rushed to the building.

The unnamed suspect had “a right-wing extremist background,” prosecutors said.  He admitted to wanting to set the building on fire as an act of revenge for what he believed to be the mistreatment of Palestinians by Israel.

At his trial at the court in Mannheim, the man, who was 17 at the time, was found guilty of arson and racism. He was also found guilty of an earlier attempted attempt to set the Israeli embassy in Berlin alight. He was given a suspended sentence of two years and eight months for the latter offence.

The judge harshly condemned the attack on the synagogue, saying it was “an act of terror” that had sought to instill fear in the Jewish community. He added that such acts were “intolerable”.