• Germany's news in English

Homemade bomb found in teen school attacker’s room

DDP/DPA/The Local · 12 May 2009, 16:27

Published: 12 May 2009 16:27 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The magazine said investigators had found the bomb during a search of the girl’s mother’s apartment.

“It was filled with explosive materials and completely functional,” Bonn public prosecutors told Focus, saying the girl had probably got the bomb-making instructions on the internet.

The girl, who police identified as Tanja Otto, was found late Monday night after spending several hours on the run. She remains in police custody and will face public prosecutors in Bonn on Tuesday, a police spokesperson said. Authorities did not reveal whether the troubled student had been captured by police or if she turned herself in, saying they had continued their investigation throughout the night.

Click here for a photo gallery of the incident.

A spokesman for the Bonn public prosecutor said the girl was considered to be at risk of committing suicide and authorities were debating moving her to a youth psychiatric clinic.

On Tuesday, school director Anne Marie Wähner described Otto as “actually a really good student.” But two of Otto’s classmates last week told school authorities that the 16-year-old was plagued by problems. They said Otto had often spoken about suicide with her friends.

Another 17-year-old female student was able to stop the arson attack when she happened upon Otto in the girls’ bathroom at Albert Einstein high school in Sankt Augustin, some 10 kilometres from Bonn, around 9 am on Monday. Otto then slashed the other girl with a knife and severed her thumb.

The alleged attacker reportedly had several knives, a tear gas pistol, 10 Molotov cocktails, a flame thrower and five kilogrammes of gunpowder, local media reported, adding that her rucksack also contained a suicide letter to police.

Screams alerted teachers to the incident and they called the police to tell them the school was under attack. The injured girl was transported to a Bonn hospital for emergency surgery.

Authorities evacuated some 800 students from the school to a neighbouring athletics building.

Just last week, Otto reportedly threatened to attack the school, for which she was scheduled to meet with a school psychologist on Monday.

Story continues below…

Barbara Sommer, North-Rhine Westphalia’s minister for schools, said she was concerned that the suspect was a girl, saying girls had “simply not been part of this problem so far.”

Germany is particularly sensitive to school violence after 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer killed 15 people at his former school with his father's gun in the southwestern German town of Winnenden in March. He later killed himself during a shootout with police.

The massacre stirred up debate about stronger whether the country needs stronger gun laws or a ban on violent video games.

Related links:

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd