Two guards protecting a Berlin synagogue in the Mitte district detained a Syrian man who apparently sought to enter the building with a knife on Friday. According to a report in the German daily Bild, the Damascus-born man shouted, “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Great” -a phrase frequently uttered before or during radical Islamic terrorist attacks.
The guards drew their firearms and the police were notified. A police spokeswoman said the guards kept their weapons holstered but the man ignored them. The security guards reportedly said “Knife away and stop immediately.”
Bild reported that the Syrian man did not drop the knife and repeated sentences in Arabic. The guards remained at a distance with their firearms out. Police appeared and sprayed an irritating gas in the man’s face.
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.