New responsibility claim for soccer team bus blast

The match had been postponed after three explosions hit German football team Borussia Dortmund's bus late on April 11, 2017 ahead of a Champions League home game against AS Monaco.
The match had been postponed after three explosions hit German football team Borussia Dortmund's bus late on April 11, 2017 ahead of a Champions League home game against AS Monaco. PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN • German prosecutors are examining a third claim of responsibility for blasts that rocked Borussia Dortmund's team bus, but no new suspects have emerged.

With Dortmund players due back on the pitch in the Bundesliga, police are pursuing leads regarding the attack last Tuesday that injured Spanish international Marc Bartra and a policeman.

Three bombs containing pieces of metal detonated minutes after the bus left a hotel for a Champions League match against Monaco.

The Tagesspiegel newspaper revealed it had received a new letter, apparently from far-right circles, railing against multi-culturalism, saying it had been behind the triple blast and threatening another attack.

Several such claims have already been investigated, without any breakthrough.

Three identical letters found close to the site had initially suggested an Islamist link, but questions have arisen about the authenticity of that claim.

A sole suspect - an Iraqi man - taken into custody over the Islamist link has since been cleared of involvement.

A second claim, purporting to be from the far left, was made online, but prosecutors had cast doubt on it early on.

Yesterday, it emerged that the explosives used in the attack on the team bus may have come from supplies belonging to the German armed forces, a newspaper cited a source involved in the investigation as saying.

"The explosives in the pipe bombs, which were filled with metal pins, might have come from the stocks of the German armed forces, but that's still being checked," newspaper Welt am Sonntag cited a source involved in the investigation as saying.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE , REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 16, 2017, with the headline 'New responsibility claim for soccer team bus blast'. Print Edition | Subscribe