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German police investigating ‘Islamist link’ in Borussia Dortmund bus blast – report

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April 12, 2017

German police are investigating an “Islamist link” to the bomb attack that targeted a Borussia Dortmund team bus Tuesday night, as well as looking into an online post claiming responsibility from an “anti-fascist” group.

A number of bombs went off near a German team bus as it transported players to a Champions League quarter-final game.

According to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche, a letter reportedly found at the site opens with; “In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful,” and also mentions the Berlin Christmas market attack.

The unsigned letter references Germany’s military involvement in surveillance operations against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) as the reason for the attack, reports Reuters, citing Sueddeutsche.

It adds that athletes and other celebrities “in Germany and other Kreuzfahrer nations” would be on a “death list of the Islamic state,” Sueddeutsche reports, which will apply until German Tornadoes are withdrawn and the American airbase is closed at Ramstein.

However, investigators warn that instigators of the attack may have left the letter to mislead prosecutors, the paper reports.

Investigators are also examining a second letter claiming responsibility for the attack that was published online on Tuesday evening by a group named Antifa, a so-called “anti-fascist scene,” which claimed the attack was a “symbol for the policy of BVB [Borussia Dortmund],” reports Reuters citing Focus magazine, referencing neo-Nazi and racist fans of the club.

Germany’s federal public prosecutor has taken over the investigation and will hold a news conference on the progress of enquiry at 12:00 GMT.

According to German police, up to three explosives may have been hidden in a hedge close to the official Dortmund team bus.

Most players were left unscathed in the attack, except for Spanish center back Marc Bartra who suffered injuries to his arm and hand, with the club wishing him a “speedy recovery.”

As players returned to training on Wednesday, Dortmund Chief Executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told the media: “We won’t give in to terror.”

“We do not just play for us today. We play for everyone,” Watzke said. “We want to show that terror and hatred can never determine our actions. And of course we play for Marc Bartra, who wants to see his team win!”

UEFA, European football’s governing body, has said security at all Champions League fixtures will be reinforced.

Ahead of Wednesday’s rescheduled match between Dortmund and Monaco, officials at the German club have said that due to “security reasons and, at the behest of the police, no backpacks will be allowed to be brought into the stadium.”

This article was posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 5:53 am

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