Essen: ‘Salafist’ Sikh temple bombers were known to police

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Also from the German edition of The Local. Is there a pattern emerging? 

There was no way of predicting a bomb attack on a Sikh temple despite two suspects being known to police, North Rhine-Westphalia authorities said on Wednesday. 

“The crime could not have been prevented by the authorities,” a report submitted to the state parliament by state interior minister Ralf Jäger stated.

Authorities knew that the teenagers were “radicalized Salafists who might have wanted to commit property crimes like theft and burglary,” Jäger told broadcaster Westdeutsche Rundfunk (WDR). “But there were no indications that in fact attacks were planned. Of course we know better today, but at the time we couldn’t be 100 percent certain.”

Three people were hurt in the attack on April 17th, when a bomb exploded at the Gurdwara Nanaksar temple shortly after a wedding party when dozens of guests had left the building.

Police quickly identified three suspects in the bombing as two 16-year-olds and one 17-year-old. All three are now in custody. Security authorities had had a tip-off from the mother of one of the teens, Tolga I., that he planned to travel to a “Salafist country” and join jihadist fighting, the report states. A second suspect, Yusuf T., had been reported to authorities by his school after making Islamist statements and behaving aggressively. The school reported a second incident when Yusuf showed a video of an explosion on his phone. Police in Gelsenkirchen acknowledged that they had not done enough to follow up the lead.

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