German suspect ‘behind Hanover bomb plot’

The leader of a five-person group believed to be behind the bomb threat against the Germany-Netherlands friendly in Hanover on Tuesday is a German citizen, local media reported on Friday.

German suspect 'behind Hanover bomb plot'
Heavily-armed police in Hanover's main station on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

French security sources told the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ) that the group had planned five bomb attacks, including three at the stadium and two at a bus stop and a train station in the city centre.

Bombs were supposed to be smuggled into the stadium in an official vehicle or by someone with a ticket to the game.

The train station attack was supposed to be carried out seven hours later by a female member of the group, the paper reported.

Intelligence about the group reached German authorities just two hours before kick-off.

Half an hour later, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere decided to cancel the game – although he himself has so far been cagey about his reasons for doing so.

He has faced widespread online mockery for his choice of words – “part of the answer would only unsettle the public” – in explaining the cancellation.

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