• Germany edition
 
Bonn bomb was 'as big as Madrid bombs'
A police sketch of a terror suspect. Photo: DPA

Bonn bomb was 'as big as Madrid bombs'

Published: 12 Dec 2012 10:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Dec 2012 15:47 GMT+01:00

Authorities first sought two men from Bonn's militant Islamist scene, who had previously been classified as "dangerous."

Omar D. and Abdirazak B. were arrested on Tuesday afternoon, security forces in Berlin confirmed, but have since been released.

Somali-born Salafist Muslim Omar D., had been taken into custody at Cologne/Bonn airport in 2008 on suspicion of engaging in terrorist activities. Omar D.'s lawyer Mutlu Günal also confirmed the arrests, but refused to comment further.

The police investigation came after a sports bag was found on Platform 1 of Bonn's central station on Monday. Der Spiegel magazine reported that it contained four canisters of butane gas, ammonium nitrate, a metal pipe, and an alarm clock with batteries, though there appears to have been no detonator.

The area was sealed and the device was destroyed with a water cannon - which may have broken the detonator into "countless pieces," prosecutors said.

But authorities said that if the explosive had been detonated, it could have had a similar effect to the 2004 al-Qaida bombing in Madrid, which killed 191 people.

"It was an extremely dangerous explosive device," state prosecutor Rainer Griesbaum said on Wednesday.

Yet it remains unclear whether the crime was politically or criminally motivated. "In one word - everything is open," Griesbaum said. Investigators believe that the bomb was not meant to be left in the railway station, but perhaps deposited on a train.

Police said they are continuing their investigations, and are searching for a 30-35-year-old dark-skinned man with a slim build and around 1.90 metres tall, who was seen leaving the bag by a 14-year-old boy. The suspect was reportedly wearing a black hat, black boots, and a brown and grey jacket.

CCTV footage taken from a McDonalds restaurant near the station appears to show the bag being carried by a white man before being taken away by a black man. Investigators are unsure whether this was an intended "drop" or a theft.

The Local/DAPD/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:18 December 12, 2012 by intensive_care
Can this media and government be more racist and islamophobic, for the last freaking 24 hrs the only news in media is Islamists and Salafist caught and have linked to Al-Qaeda. Now they are release without charges and they were not even suspects?

Disgrace a community without any evidence and dont even say sorry for your acts...
11:54 December 12, 2012 by raandy
I can see that this article is destin for closure.

I would assume from the photo and the eye witness report ,they have made these conclusions,

I wish it was a prank but this is serious and we all need to take it this way. If some people feel their toes have been stepped on than so be it. public safety and the prevention of lost life for the innocent trumps all of that.

Law enforcement needs to vigilant, prepared and astute if there is any hope of preventing this type of criminal attack on the innocent.

If there is a successful attack ,the islamophobic meter is going to be off the scale.
12:00 December 12, 2012 by lucksi
Is this the US now? "Subject was described as a black male" and so police always find someone who fits THAT description.

So, BOOGOBOOGABOOGA, there's them scary Muslims around who can't build a bomb. Now bend over while we frisk you, for safety of course.
15:37 December 12, 2012 by catjones
But they have no qualms about blurring the faces of the guilty.
15:56 December 12, 2012 by hanskarl
Is this the US now? No, merely reality. Were it a light skinned person no complaint would be registered here. Suffice it to say that if this is the Polizei's last lead they are merely doing their jobs now aren't they. Would you be screaming racism if one of your loved ones were killed or maimed if this device would have detonated and they had made the same comment??? And they didn't say black they said dark skinned. Now even politically correct terms are outed as racist. Get a grip. those who complain about such things in these types of articles....well, one might wonder just what side of the terrorist fence they are leaning toward. It is nothing about racism. It is about attempted mass murder. And they did mention the white guy at the MacDonalds!!! Duh.......
17:19 December 12, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I would give the police and security some credit for trying to make our lives in Germany safer. The fact is someone tried to maim and kill a lot of people and the police are in a no win situation. No matter how hard the police try to protect the population from terrorism there will always be people who critise them for questioning suspects.
20:58 December 12, 2012 by chicagolive
It is not about questioning it is about the tactics. I was stopped 17 times today in the same friggin station in Frankfurt, they just said they are looking for a black guy. Really is it not bad enough now we got this to, I asked are you looking for the white guy also they gave me blank stares, I work CT so I knew what was going on before half of these bozos and the info is butt backwards. The thing is that is normal in Germany hence the reason why these groups like coming transiting through Germany they are so stuck in their blinders that they never really catch somebody. Now let them forget the taxes I bet you they locate everybody even the crap the dog let out.
21:20 December 12, 2012 by Tonne
This was a serious incident and the result could have been devastating but the authorities should not inflame the situation by comparing it to the 191 killed in Madrid where there were ten separate explosions.
15:13 December 14, 2012 by raandy
chicagolive... that would be frustrating but maybe next time they will be looking for a white guy.

Most crimes are solved because someone tells on someone, rarely by forensics or police investigations unlike what TV would have us believe.
Today's headlines
Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of
The Wiesbaden Museum in Hessen. Photo: DPA

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of

The Wiesbaden Museum was once a collection house for art stolen from Jewish owners by the Nazi. With one painting, they hope to right at least one wrong while bringing awareness to its ongoing restitution work. READ  

JobTalk Germany
When should interns demand to get paid?

When should interns demand to get paid?

After a woman was denied pay for working at a supermarket as an 'intern' for eight months with no wages, The Local looks at the warning signs for abusive internships. READ  

Single parents, common law families on rise
Photo: DPA

Single parents, common law families on rise

The German family structure is changing, with nearly a third of every family no longer living in the "classic model" and big differences in what family looks like in the former East and West, statistics agency Destatis announced on Monday. READ  

Four arrested in raids against Isis
Photo: DPA

Four arrested in raids against Isis

Police raided 15 homes across Germany over the weekend and arrested four suspected supporters of the Islamic State (Isis). They are alleged to have smuggled a teenager and thousands of winter military clothes to the terrorist group's frontlines. READ  

Munich Refugee Crisis
'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'
Hassan, pictured outside the Bayernkaserne with two of his children, arrived in Munich from Syria. Photo: Mariane Schroeder

'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'

Around 300 refugees are arriving in Munich each day, but accommodation centres are full. With authorities struggling for answers, The Local meets those at the sharp end of the crisis. READ  

Train Strike
Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return
Photo: DPA

Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return

UPDATE: Deutsche Bahn trains are chugging along again after a 50-hour train strike cost the service "tens of millions" and brought travel headaches across the country, leaving millions of passengers struggling for transportation over the weekend as well as at least one mass brawl in its tracks. READ  

Foreigner toll to hit motorways only
Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt. Photo: DPA

Foreigner toll to hit motorways only

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt plans to limit his road toll for foreigners initially to motorways only, Spiegel reported on Sunday. READ  

Criminals blow Berlin Sparkasse wide open
The damaged bank branch. Photo: DPA

Criminals blow Berlin Sparkasse wide open

Criminals robbed a Berliner Sparkasse bank branch early on Sunday morning - using a bomb. READ  

French retread path to Berlin finance ministry
French Economy and Finance Ministers Emmanuel Macron (l) and Michel Sapin. Photo: DPA

French retread path to Berlin finance ministry

French and German ministers are due to meet on Monday to discuss ways of boosting growth in Europe's two biggest economies, as Paris called on Berlin to step up investment. READ  

Lufthansa pilots to strike for 35 hours
Grounded. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots to strike for 35 hours

UPDATE: Pilots' union Cockpit has called a new 35-hour walkout at Lufthansa starting Monday, hours after a weekend-long rail strike finished. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Travel
This is the man who has stopped Germany's trains
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Expats: Should I stay or should I go?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Which expat foods do you miss the most?
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
How to get hired at a Berlin startup
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,441
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd