• Germany edition
 
'Islamists' behind botched Bonn bombing
Police investigate contents of the bag on Monday. Photo: DPA

'Islamists' behind botched Bonn bombing

Published: 15 Dec 2012 09:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Dec 2012 09:30 GMT+01:00

The federal prosecutor said in a statement that there was enough evidence to suggest Monday's incident was "an attempted explosives attack by a terrorist organisation with a radical Islamist bent."

It added that there was serious evidence "that the suspicious person has connections in radical Islamist circles," but gave no details. The prosecutor's office, which is responsible for probing matters of terrorism, has taken over the investigation.

The blue sports bag was discovered on Monday on a train platform at the station in western Germany containing an improvised explosive device.

Its contents included four pressure gas canisters, a 40-centimetre long metal pipe, batteries, a clock and ammonium nitrate.

The bomb's detonation device was triggered but for some reason failed to go off, according to reports by broadcaster Westdeutsche Rundfunk (WDR) and Der Spiegel magazine on Friday – probably because it was put together in the wrong way.

Investigators told Der Spiegel they believed traces of gun powder found in the bag along with batteries that had used up their charge suggested the bomb had been triggered, a theory which police said they were unable to confirm or deny.

"Why the explosive device did not detonate, requires further investigation," the prosecutor's statement said.

One theory goes that the bomb failed to go off because the would-be bombers used the filament from a light bulb found at the scene of the crime instead of a “booster” to amplify the explosion, wrote the magazine.

According to WDR, the unknown perpetrator dumped the blue bag on the platform then quickly disappeared in order to detonate the bomb from a safe distance. Its discovery sparked the complete evacuation of Bonn station.

Authorities said on Wednesday that if the explosive had gone off, 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," said state prosecutor Rainer Griesbaum.

Norbert Wagner, who headed the investigation for Cologne police, told reporters on Wednesday that had the gas exploded and caused the ammonium nitrate to ignite, "there would have been a significant explosion ... that of course would have caused considerable harm to people."

On Tuesday, police arrested two men, one with links to an extremist Salafist group, but released them, and a day later announced they were looking for two men in connection with the incident.

Since Thursday police have been searching for an important witness, the man who alerted train station employees to the unattended bag on platform one on Monday.

Cologne police say the witness is around 40 years-old, with a European appearance, short blonde hair and a slight speech impediment.

In July 2006 Islamist militants placed suitcases with homemade bombs on two regional trains at nearby Cologne's main station. They failed to detonate, averting an almost certain bloodbath.

AFP/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:35 December 15, 2012 by auslanderus
The writer forgot to tell how the next time to make the bomb go off. Maybe the writer needs to show them how to do it right and in the process blow himself up also. What a dumm arsch.
13:46 December 15, 2012 by jmclewis
Perhaps the writer could refer to a You Tube instructional video.
15:17 December 15, 2012 by raandy
when I read this I thought the same about the writer explaining how to it better next time,

Good move EX-Lax

This time we all were fortunate, next time we can only hope. The need for better intel is a must.

These extremist are not true believers, and take away from those that are.This does not advance their cause, only intensifies the dislike and mistrust of their warped cause.
15:37 December 15, 2012 by analyzer
this sounds cheap movie.. how come no video captures except that video of the white with the red beard in der spiegel.. hey germany stop this cheap thing, your people are not that dumm!
19:37 December 15, 2012 by lordkorner
I was thinking the same and wondered if the would be bombers read the local maybe they'd take note and not make the same mistake next time....The Local where journalist must have home made bomb know how...
03:30 December 16, 2012 by Darthkuriboh
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:20 December 16, 2012 by Zubair Khan
@Darthkuriboh

As usual the whole story will end to have a link with Islam. For God sake stop involving religion in whole mess. If at all some one involved is Muslim he or she did it at his/her own. Not that religion Islam taught him/her to do so. Take the culprit to the task and if any outfit is involved ban it but please do not blame or down grade religion Islam or all Muslims.
01:30 December 17, 2012 by Eric1
Oh, the media in America is so disappointed that it wasn't some "Caucasian Christian" to blame. It's another story they will have to ignore for the sake of diversity, tolerance, and multiculturalism.
Today's headlines
'Germany can handle more refugees'
Refugees in emergency accommodation in Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA

'Germany can handle more refugees'

Germany is the most popular destination in the EU for those fleeing the brutal onslaught in Syria. The country’s interior minister wants other European countries to take in more refugees, but some groups think Germany should do more. READ  

Hostage horror in Yemen, hostage hope in Somalia
Johannes Hentschel, Sabine and their son died in Yemen. Michael Scott Moore (r) was released on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Hostage horror in Yemen, hostage hope in Somalia

UPDATE: American-German journalist Michael Scott Moore was released on Tuesday from more than two-and-a-half years in the captivity of pirates in Somalia. His release came the day a German family was confirmed dead, five years after being captured in Yemen. READ  

Iraq denies entry to German military trainers
The seven trainers boarded their plane in Germany on Friday. Photo: DPA

Iraq denies entry to German military trainers

UPDATE: Seven German military trainers, who flew to Iraq on Friday to train Kurdish fighters battling Islamic extremists Isis, have been denied permission to enter the country. READ  

One in 10 voters support anti-euro AfD
AfD leader Bernd Lucke celebrates with supporters during the Brandenburg state election. Photo: DPA

One in 10 voters support anti-euro AfD

Eurosceptic party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is supported by 10 percent of voters in Germany, a poll on Tuesday showed. It is the first time the fast-rising anti-euro party has polled nationwide in double digits. READ  

Analysis
Why Germany fears US digital disruptors
Angela Merkel with her official Blackberry phone

Why Germany fears US digital disruptors

Every week brings a new headline pitting German politicians, businesses or unions against a US digital company. What is the country's problem with US tech businesses? READ  

Quiz
Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: DPA

Can you pass the German citizenship test?

Since 2008 anyone applying for German citizenship has had to take a test on their new country's history, politics and values. Do you know enough about Germany to pass it? READ  

Rent caps are coming in 2015
Photo: DPA

Rent caps are coming in 2015

A move to cap rent rises in German cities has been agreed by coalition parties, Germany's justice minister announced on Tuesday morning. READ  

Boy, 6, among Berlin train attack victims
Photo: DPA

Boy, 6, among Berlin train attack victims

Two vicious acts of violence on Berlin trains over the weekend have shocked passengers, with the youngest attack victim aged just six. READ  

Gerst and crew get 3D printer and some mice
Gerst is waiting the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon which launched on Sunday. Photo: NASA TV/DPA

Gerst and crew get 3D printer and some mice

UPDATE: Alexander Gerst, Germany's man aboard the International Space Station (ISS), captured SpaceX's unmanned Dragon craft with a cargo of supplies on Tuesday. READ  

Father, 75, tries to dynamite son
Police searching the area after the TNT discovery in Nußdorf. Photo: DPA

Father, 75, tries to dynamite son

A Bavarian pensioner is being investigated on suspicion of attempted murder after planting 3.5kg of TNT in his son's garden, next door to his own home, police said on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: DPA
Munich
Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA
Sport
German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'
DPA
Gallery
The best photos from Oktoberfest's opening weekend
Photo: DPA
Munich
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,343
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd