A teenager is accused of planning a bomb attack on a gay Frankfurt nightclub as part of a Islamic extremist attack on the German city.
Authorities have not released name of the 17-year-old, but confirmed he was arrested on September 1 and held on suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence. Intel on the suspect, which came from the United States, indicated he was planning on bombing a gay club and a Catholic church.
Police say the investigation is ongoing but the teen was found with instructions on making triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a highly unstable explosive primarily used by suicide bombers. Trace amounts of chemicals were found in his apartment in Florstadt, about 20 miles northeast of Frankfurt.
Thought not as big as Berlin, the gay Frankfurt scene is still quite vibrant — the city’s tourism office estimates approximately 50,000 LGBTQ people live in the metro area, and more than 20,000 attend the annual Christopher Street Day Parade each July.
The Alte Gasse, Frankfurt’s main gay district, is home to the Homomonument Frankfurter Engel, which commemorates LGBTQ people sent to the camps by the Nazis, and an AIDS memorial by artist Tom Fecht.
Gay nightclubs have been a frequent target of terrorism, even before the June 2016 attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. In 1999, neo-Nazi David Copeland planted a nail bomb in the Admiral Duncan, a popular gay bar in London. Two people were killed and more than 80 more were wounded. Last September, French officials revealed they had prevented a coordinated attack on several gay nightclubs in Paris.
This March, a British supporter of ISIS was found guilty of plotting terror attacks in London, including assaults on several gay bars. And in July, a concert by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles was abruptly canceled after a bomb threat was made at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale.