Borussia Dortmund Explosions: Police Investigate Islamic Extremist Link

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A report from the AFP news agency says that German police are investigating an ‘Islamist link’ to the bomb attacks on the bus which was carrying Borussia Dortmund football team.

Süddeutschern Zeitung, the NDR and the WDR – local media outlets – have said that the letter begins: “In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.”

The letter is also said to make reference to the Berlin Christmas market in December – and it also asserts that German military planes have been ‘assassinating Muslims in the Caliphate of the Islamic State’.

Borussia Dortmund,

Players dived for cover as three blasts sent shards of glass flying through their coach while defender Marc Bartra broke a bone in his right wrist and later needed surgery to remove ‘foreign objects’ from his body

A German newspaper has reported that the team was targeted owing to the Syrian mission – which has resulted in sportsmen and other celebrities “in Germany and other Crusading nations” being put “on a death list of the Islamic State.”

The letter goes on to demand a forthwith withdrawal of the (German air force) Bundeswehr Tornadoes from Syria. The letter also demands the closure of the American air base in Ramstein in Germany which controls controversial drone operations against alleged terrorists in the Middle East.

Borussia Dortmund,

Police remained on the scene this morning as investigators looked into the cause of the three blasts

However, the veracity of the letter is being questioned. According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, it is possible the perpetrators are deliberately trying to mislead the investigation. An analysis of the letter by experts is ongoing.

The German news agency DPA reported that there is a second letter circulating online, claiming an anti-fascist group had committed the attack.

Posted on an anti-fascism online portal, the second letter claims the attack was influenced by the club’s purported tolerance for racists and right-wing fans. The club has, however, clamped down on such fans in the past.

What happened?

The football team Borussia Dortmund were travelling to their home Champions League quarter-final match against Monaco, before “three explosive charges detonated”, according to police.

Pictures taken at the scene showed broken windows and tyres burst from the blast.

Borussia Dortmund player Marc Bartra, injured in the blast, was taken to hospital to have an operation on his wrist. No other players were hurt. However, a police officer on a motorbike escorting the bus was wounded.

The head of Dortmund police said during a news conference that it was a targeted attack. Various reports have claimed that explosives had been camouflaged in a hedge.

Players ducked to the floor of the bus when the bus turned on the main road when a loud noise occurred, not knowing if there would be any more.

It has been reported that there were up to three explosions – believed to be detonated by a mobile phone – close to the team bus as the team made their way to the Champions League semi-final against Monaco at 5.45pm (UK time).

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Benjamin David founded Conatus News in 2016. He currently works as an editor for Parliamentary Review.

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