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Friday, 14 December 2012
Bonn bomb was 'as big as Madrid bombs'
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From the German edition of The Local and Der Speigel  

Police on Wednesday released two Islamists suspected of planting a bomb at Bonn's train station. But they also published a photo-fit image of a man seen near the explosive device, said to be as big as one that devastated Madrid in 2004.
Authorities first sought two men from Bonn's militant Islamist scene, who had previously been classified as "dangerous."

Omar D. and Abdirazak B. were arrested on Tuesday afternoon, security forces in Berlin confirmed, but have since been released. Somali-born Salafist Muslim Omar D., had been taken into custody at Cologne/Bonn airport in 2008 on suspicion of engaging in terrorist activities. Omar D.'s lawyer Mutlu Günal also confirmed the arrests, but refused to comment further.

The police investigation came after a sports bag was found on Platform 1 of Bonn's central station on Monday. Der Spiegel magazine reported that it contained four canisters of butane gas, ammonium nitrate, a metal pipe, and an alarm clock with batteries, though there appears to have been no detonator.

The area was sealed and the device was destroyed with a water cannon - which may have broken the detonator into "countless pieces," prosecutors said.

"It was an extremely dangerous explosive device," state prosecutor Rainer Griesbaum said on Wednesday.

The mass-circulation tabloid Bild reported Thursday that the Interior Ministry's "threat assessment" included warnings of an increased risk of attacks on German Christmas markets. With their open entrances and large number of visitors, the markets are "soft attack targets, which are difficult to protect," the paper quoted from the report.

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Posted on 12/14/2012 4:47 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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