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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

Police on Wednesday released two Islamists suspected of planting a bomb at Bonn's train station. But they also published a photo-fit image of a man seen near the explosive device, said to be as big as one that devastated Madrid in 2004.

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)

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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.
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