Bomb hoaxer given away by bumpkin accent

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Bomb hoaxer given away by bumpkin accent
Police patrol in Munich main train station on January 2nd. Photo: DPA

Non-native speakers and Germans alike are well aware of just how impenetrable the Saxon dialect can be. But it turned into the clue that unlocked a case for some quick-thinking Munich police officers this weekend.


Munich police have caught a man who called in at least one fake bomb threat over the weekend, after his thick Saxon accent gave him away.

The culprit called an emergency line at the Bavarian capital's fire service on Sunday and claimed that a bomb would explode on one of the city's U-Bahn lines, police said on Monday.

Despite the man's Saxon dialect and the fact that he gave his full name over the phone, the trail quickly went cold.

But hotel workers called police on Sunday evening to deal with a drunken man from Leipzig, saying that he was refusing to leave and babbling in the impenetrable east German dialect.

Officers remembered the false alarm from earlier in the afternoon and put two and two together.

The 29-year-old confessed to making the bomb threat after he was arrested and questioned.

Police found a small amount of methamphetamine on the man when he was arrested, Munich's Abendzeitung newspaper reported.

Although he was released, the faker now faces prosecution for breach of the peace by threatening crime and misusing the emergency phone number.

He may face a fine or even a prison sentence of up to three years.

Multiple copycats

The Leipzig man's threat was the second copycat bomb warning called in over the weekend after Munich authorities warned of an elevated risk of terrorist attack on public gatherings on New Year's Eve.

A previous hoaxer called the emergency line twice on Saturday afternoon to make bomb threats.

While they were quickly proven false, authorities have been unable to track down the man behind them.

Meanwhile, Pasing train station was evacuated briefly on Saturday night after an explosive-sniffing dog signalled that it had found something in a payphone.

In the end, police removed a cover only to find a small video camera mounted on a sponge.

Although they were relieved that it wasn't a bomb, police continue to puzzle over the purpose of the bizarre assembly.


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