• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?
Police images of the Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Bundlos, the three perpetrators of the NSU murders. Photo: DPA

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?

The German government announced measures on Wednesday requiring police and courts to take tougher action against suspected hate crimes, following a neo-Nazi killing spree that went unsolved for more than a decade. READ  

The Local List
Ten of the oddest things found at border control
Photo: Zollamt/Shutterstock

Ten of the oddest things found at border control

Some of the strangest items found by German border control might make you think again about whether border checks are over the top. The Local List takes a look. READ  

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants
Demonstrators hold up a banner against Roma deportations in 2013. Photo: DPA

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants

UPDATE: Germany is expected to announce new measures on Wednesday to expel EU citizens who cheat the country's social security system, as well as improving conditions for asylum seekers. READ  

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate
Shoppers in Germany felt a sudden drop in confidence in August. Photo: DPA

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate

Confidence among German consumers fell at its fastest rate in August since records began more than 30 years ago. Instability on the international stage and fears for the future of the national economy have contributed to the sudden drop. READ  

Ebola patient arrives at Hamburg hospital
An isolation ambulance approaches the specially outfitted aircraft carrying the Ebola patient at Hamburg airport. Photo: DPA

Ebola patient arrives at Hamburg hospital

UPDATE: The first patient to be treated for Ebola in Germany arrived in Hamburg on Wednesday morning. READ  

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats
Photo: DPA

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats

A driver in western Germany should not be fined for "negligent driving" because he had swapped seats after a warning sign, a court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods
The cannabis was found by a walker who alerted police. Photo: DPA

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods

Police have found 18,500 cannabis plants with a street value of €20 million growing in the woods on the Dutch-German border. READ  

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany
Federal Labour Minister Andrea Nahles speaking to journalists in July. Photo: DPA

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany

Germany’s Labour Minister Andrea Nahles has given her backing to an anti-stress law, announcing a study into workers' mental health on Tuesday. READ  

Former Porsche execs to stand trial over VW bid
Former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking (left) and CFO Holger Härter. Photo: DPA

Former Porsche execs to stand trial over VW bid

A German court ruled on Tuesday that Porsche's former chief executive and financial officers must stand trial for alleged share price manipulation in a failed attempt to take over Volkswagen in 2008. READ  

Analysis
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
How Tegel may look from above and an architect's idea for a temporary façade design until ICC's future is decided. Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer H. & Partner

How will Berlin look in five years' time?

From Tempelhof to Tegel, Berlin's airports cause its politicians headaches. In the first of two articles, The Local looks at plans and problems for development in the city's western half. What's next for the West? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: DPA
National
Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
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

3,443
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd