Borussia Dortmund bus attack: German police investigating ‘Islamist link’ into three explosions

Authorities are checking the authenticity of two letters claiming responsibility for the attack 

Click to follow
The Independent Online

German police are investigating an "Islamist link" to the explosions targeting the Borussia Dortmund football team's bus, according to German media. 

Two people were injured on Tuesday night when three explosions went off alongside the Borussia Dortmund team bus ahead of a Champions League quarter-final match against Monaco.

Police said the explosions were being treated as a targeted attack and said they were investigating “in all directions” following the incident. Reuters news agency reports that Germany’s federal public prosecutor has now overtaken the investigation. 

A letter recovered by authorities at the scene claiming responsibility for the attack reportedly said the blasts were in response to Germany’s military involvement in surveillance operations against Isis in Syria and referenced the attack on a Berlin market in December last year. 

Investigators have since said the letter may have been an attempt to mislead authorities over the true identity of those behind the attack, according to Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The letter, written in German, is reported to have started with the words: "In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful."

A possible second letter from the anti-fascist scene claiming responsibility for the attack is also being examined by investigators, according to Focus Online magazine. 

Monaco fans sing Dortmund songs after hearing of team bus explosion

The explosions occurred shortly before the Champions League game at the Signal Iduna Park stadium at 7.15pm on Tuesday night, smashing some of the vehicle’s windows and leaving Spanish player Marc Bartra with an injury to his hand and arm. He later underwent surgery for a broken wrist.

A police officer, who had been travelling on a motorbike in front of the bus, was also injured. He is said to be suffering from blast trauma and shock. 

Dortmund police spokesperson Sven Schönberg told BBC Radio4’s Today Programme that police “suppose that these explosive materials was hidden in the bushes near a street where the bus drove by,” and that investigators were working to verify the letter found at the scene.

He said the cancelled Champions League game will go ahead on Wednesday night with increased security planned to protect the teams and their fans.