clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Police: Dortmund attackers were “far right” extremists who wanted to “incite a backlash” against Muslims

New, comments

ISIS was not involved at all, but the attackers wanted people to think that they were.

Borussia Dortmund Bus Explosion Injures One Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

When news of a terrorist attack breaks, not everything originally reported turns out to be true.

After last week’s bombing of Dortmund’s team bus, there were initial reports that Islamists were behind the attack. But police now say that is not the case. Instead, they believe the attackers are “far right” extremists who wanted to “incite a backlash” against Muslims.

The Times has more information on this, still developing, story.

German police have raised the terror threat level after warnings of more attacks on high-profile events, including football games and concerts, following last week’s bombing in Dortmund.

Police said military-grade explosives were used to target the bus of the city’s football team. They believe that these were planted by members of the far right rather than by Islamists.

An official document leaked to Die Welt newspaper yesterday suggested the bombers wanted to incite a backlash against Muslims. Three letters found nearby, which claimed the bombing on behalf of Islamists, were fabricated, said the investigators.

“The explosive in the pipe bombs, which were filled with metal shrapnel, seems to derive from the inventory of the army. But we are still investigating that,” a police source told the newspaper.

The military-grade detonators could have been wired only by someone with “professional skills”, the official added.

Joachim Herrmann, Bavaria’s interior minister, said the “truly worrying” aspect of the Dortmund attack was the “technically perfect construction of the explosive devices”. He warned that similar events could take place on “any other street in Germany”.

Neo-Nazi groups have planted explosives in the past, notably in 2004 in Cologne, when Turkish immigrants were targeted.

First of all, it should be noted that the attackers are still at large, hence the raising of the terror threat level. The police also believe they have professional training and used military-grade devices, due to the nature of the explosives and the detonators.

These are scary revelations, that also reinforce the notion that Dortmund were lucky to avoid any casualties in the incident. Thankfully, Marc Bartra was the only person injured, and he has since been released from the hospital and should return to the pitch in a few weeks.

We heard a lot about the letters in the immediate aftermath of the attack, and it now turns out that they were completely fabricated. The attackers wrote the letters in an effort to convince people ISIS had carried out the bombings.

As New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi (who focuses on ISIS and Al-Qaeda) points out, there were notable inconsistencies in these letters that revealed they were only intended to frame Islamists, and weren’t actually the work of a group like ISIS.

The idea that some “people” on the far right are so desperate to demonize Muslims is truly awful. But ignorance and hatred are powerful drugs.

It’s an intriguing, and horrifying, situation. Dortmund were targeted so the attackers could achieve maximum publicity, and thus police are worried similar high-profile attacks could take place in the future in Germany.

Today’s revelations are further proof to not believe everything you hear in the immediate aftermath of an attack like this. It takes time for the authorities to gather all the information, and to define fact from fiction.

Hundreds of police officers and detectives have been assigned to investigate the Dortmund case. We thank them, and hope they can bring those responsible to justice as soon as possible.

Fear The Wall will continue to keep you updated as more information on this story comes to light.