Suspicious Luggage Police Arrest Suspects in Bonn Bomb Case

Police have reportedly arrested two men suspected of being involved in planting explosive materials at the central train station in Bonn. The station was shut down on Monday after a suspicious bag containing "potentially explosive material" was found there.
Police at Bonn's central train station examine the suspicious bag.

Police at Bonn's central train station examine the suspicious bag.

Foto: Meike Böschemeyer/ dpa

Police have arrested two Somali-born men in connection with a bag discovered at the central train station of Bonn that was loaded with potential explosives, causing the temporary closure of the train station.

The first suspect was reportedly arrested on Tuesday around 1:30 p.m. in a Bonn Internet cafe. The suspect was identified as Omar D. The regional daily Bonner General-Anzeiger then reported on a second arrest later in the day near a bridge over the Rhine river, though it was not immediately confirmed.

The second suspect was another Somali, Abdirazak B. Both are reportedly well-known to authorities as Islamlist extremists. In September 2008 they were detained on a runway at the Cologne/Bonn airport after they boarded a plane to Amsterdam. Investigators at the time believed a love letter written by Omar D. to a young woman was intended as a final goodbye and that the two men were planning on joining the armed jihad. Both were released shortly after their arrest.

Sources said the two suspects were identified by youths who said they saw them near the scene around the time when the bag was found. Authorities were reportedly looking over cell phone data to determine if the suspects were indeed in the area.

Opened with a Robot

Sources told SPIEGEL ONLINE that the bag at the train station contained butane gas and ammonium nitrate, as well as a metal pipe, an alarm clock and batteries. Investigators initially described the bag's contents as "potentially explosive material." Explosives experts were investigating whether the material found in the bag could have actually led to an explosion.

The bag was reported to train station employees around midday on Monday, prompting authorities to shut the train station down. The bag was opened with a robot, uncovering metal containers filled with a kind of powder.

The train station's closure led to major disruptions in train travel. Many regional trains were canceled and long-distance trains were rerouted. The station was reopened late Monday evening and train travel was back to normal by Tuesday morning.

With reporting by Jörg Diehl in Düsseldorf

acb -- with wire reports
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