• Germany's news in English
 

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
Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims
Photo: DPA

Belgium, Netherlands probe BND spy claims

Belgium and the Netherlands have launched probes into claims of widespread espionage by Germany, which is accused of helping the US spy on Berlin's closest allies in Europe, officials said Friday. READ  

German women have World Cup in their sights
Germany are among the favourites. Photo: DPA archive

German women have World Cup in their sights

After getting their hands on the world cup in 2003 and 2007, the German women’s national team are trying to make it three out of the last four this summer in Canada. READ  

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'
"I don't need to justify it because it's in the Bible". Photo: DPA

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'

A head teacher at a state school in Munich is attempting to introduce a strict Christian regime by hanging crosses in the classroom and holding daily prayers. He's within the law, but parents and pupils are beginning to resist. READ  

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic
Stock image of baby ducks running. Photo: DPA.

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic

Police officers and a fire fighter crane were called in to rescue five orphaned baby ducks on Friday, stopping autobahn traffic briefly to escort them to safety. READ  

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan
The region of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Photo: DPA

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan

An employee of the German International Development Agency (GIZ) has been released from captivity in northern Afghanistan after being taken prisoner by the Taliban six weeks ago. READ  

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet
Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron presented a newly united front at a Berlin press conference on Friday, after their first meeting where the UK premier set out his demands for reform of the European Union. READ  

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’
Photo: DPA

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) have told the BBC that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be disastrous for both countries. READ  

At last, Germany has a new Top Model
Vanessa is over the moon. Photo:DPA

At last, Germany has a new Top Model

Everyone can breath easily again. Despite a delay of two weeks due to a bomb threat, Heidi Klum has finally been able to choose Germany’s next top model - a 19-year-old from her own home town. READ  

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football
Steinmeier had harsh words for FIFA. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football

Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that if world football can't clear up "poisonous" corruption, state bodies need to step in, amid a graft scandal engulfing governing body FIFA. READ  

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden
G7 finance ministers in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden

Debt-wracked Greece's battle to hammer out a deal with its creditors dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Dresden on Thursday, with officials insisting much work still lay ahead. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
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

6,699
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd