Islamist extremist suspected after bomb found at Bonn rail station
December 11th, 2012
07:45 PM ET

Islamist extremist suspected after bomb found at Bonn rail station

By Paul Cruickshank

German authorities suspect Islamist extremists were responsible for planting an explosive device Monday beside a track at the main railway station in Bonn, a German intelligence official tells CNN.

The explosives were found after a 14-year-old reported the bag to police, according to the official, who said the device was "not sophisticated" in design.

The official said whoever left the bag remains at large. Initially, German police arrested two Bonn residents soon after recovering the explosive components, the official said. The official identified them as Omar D., who's long been on German security services' radar because of his alleged links to Islamist extremists, and Abdifatah W.

Both, however, were released without charge after just a few hours in custody. The official said authorities have not ruled out Omar D. as a suspect but do not have enough evidence to hold him.

On Wednesday German police released a composite sketch of the suspected perpetrator based on a description from the 14-year-old. A German official told CNN the sketch describes a tall, thin, dark-skinned man in his early 30s.

Several German newspapers Tuesday reported that German police had arrested a German citizen of Somali origin, identified as Omar D.

Yassin Musharbash, an investigative reporter at Die Zeit, told CNN that security services had been aware of Omar D. for several years because he is believed to have links to Islamist extremists in the Bonn area.

Omar D. and a Somali associate from Bonn were arrested by German police in 2008 at the Cologne Bonn Airport as they prepared to travel to Uganda, according to a briefing prepared by the London based-International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. It stated that German authorities suspected the duo planned on waging jihad in Somalia or Pakistan, but they were soon released.

Der Spiegel said the bag left at the Bonn station contained butane gas, ammonium nitrate, a metal pipe, an alarm clock and batteries. Die Zeit's Musharbash told CNN that according to investigators, an initial assessment indicated that the device was rudimentary in design. He said it will probably take several days to judge how dangerous the device was.

He said investigators had yet to find a detonator among the recovered components, calling into question whether the device would ever have worked.

Based on a preliminary investigation, Musharbash said it should not be ruled out that a bomb disposal team that responded Monday unwittingly destroyed the detonator. Investigators are said to be looking into this possibility, but this seemed like only one possible scenario, he said. A German intelligence official told CNN on Wednesday that no detonator had yet been found but that a water cannon used to make the device safe may have destroyed the detonator.

Musharbash told CNN it was not yet clear if the bombing attempt was merely the work of homegrown "amateurs" or had connections to overseas terrorist groups.

In October 2011, a militant left-wing group claimed responsibility for placing several incendiary devices on railway lines in Berlin. The German intelligence official said that while it could not be completely ruled out that a similar group left the explosives at the Bonn railway station, the nature of the device found in Bonn was significantly different from the devices planted by the left-wing group in Berlin. Whereas the Berlin devices had been built to disrupt train services, the Bonn device, though it may never have been viable, appeared to have been built to "blow people up" as they boarded or exited trains, the official told CNN.

Terrorists inspired by or affiliated with al Qaeda have a track record of targeting rail lines in Europe.

Several weeks after the Madrid bombings in 2004, the cell that carried out the attack attempted to blow up a bridge on the Madrid-Seville high-speed train line. The plot was abandoned after the terrorists realized they had been spotted by nearby workers, who alerted police, a Spanish official told CNN. The official added that hundreds could have been killed given the quantity of explosives left at the scene.

In 2006, two pro-al Qaeda Islamists placed bombs on two commuter trains leaving the Cologne area, but the attack failed when the devices didn't detonate. Authorities later said the devices could have killed up to 70 people if they had been properly constructed.

Intelligence materials recovered from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, revealed that in 2010, al Qaeda discussed an idea to derail a train in the United States by obstructing tracks, several U.S. officials told CNN.

soundoff (70 Responses)
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  7. Hsbn Vic

    But i reckon the German government is doing well in containing this religious madmen. A reminder to Muslims, if you do not kick out and publicly rebuke the actions of this religious madmen, they will always be associated with your religion. Take a leaf from Christian Leaders who call murderers what they should be called and publicly tell them that those ungodly behaviours are not Jesus's way. Some Leaders routinely chase wayward members from their flock, which is good rather than having 1 million rotten members in a congregation.

    December 13, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
  8. Marita

    The Muslim-Population in western European countries is larger, because western Europe is closer to the middle East than the USA. 'Would it be closer to Mexico, they would have more Latinos. It's Geography! – Marita.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
  9. TheWordpressGhost

    Reblogged this on thewordpressghost and commented:
    Another terrorist attempt.

    Evidently, the 14 year old saw him place the bag near the tracks. They don't say that. But, to be able to describe the guy, he must have seen more than they reported.

    What would you do if you saw someone leave a bag at the airport?


    December 13, 2012 at 5:18 am | Reply
  10. KGH


    December 13, 2012 at 5:01 am | Reply
  11. Jilli bob

    Being on the watch list of the security services doesn't cut it, time for actions to remove and block entry of most muslims and summary executions of those found to be involved in violent extremism or conspiracy. Let muslims sort out their trouble makers for themselves away from advanced & peaceful societies in their own lands.

    December 13, 2012 at 2:04 am | Reply
  12. Leon

    Recently, a man went berserk in a mall and killed strangers in the USA. Just before that, another man went berserk in a movie theater and shot many people in Colorado. HOw come nobody discussed these men's religions and cultures, but you find a bomb at a station and you immediately hang a religion and culture you are unfamiliar with? Sounds like the Enlightenment never happened in Europe. We are back to the Dark Ages

    December 13, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
    • pb

      Why? Common sense. Second, religion is known to have had nothing to do with those attacks in the US.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:34 am | Reply
    • Osloboy

      The difference is of course that in the Bonn case you suspect it is the religion that is the motivation behind the deeds. Other Muslims would say a distorted understanding of the religion – but still for the perpetrator it is his religion that motivates him.

      Other mass killer may – or may not – have religion, but it is not the religion that motivates them. If something is done by an insane person it does not matter much if he’s a Muslim, Christian or Atheist. But if it is his beliefs that motivates his actions, then it is very relevant to discuss his religion – or lack of thereof.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:38 am | Reply
    • Jilli bob

      True. Way, way too many guns is only part of the problem. People are not getting the training of character in todays societies which can be addressed... As A friend once said, "You don't need to be religious (or a Christian) to have good character." The religious rhetoric of certain religious extremists justifies systematic, purposeful killing on a global scale so theres not much to compare with kids, guns & malls. These shooter kids aren't part of any sleeper cells.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:24 am | Reply
    • willknutsen

      You know very well why we immediately suspect Muslim terrorists They are almost always behind the attacks on trains and bridges and so forth. They take responsibility! We don't have to "suspect" Islamist terrorism; they brag about killing civilians. The random violence in malls and schools you speak about are caused by mentally deranged individuals with, usually, no religious motivation. The attacks on trains, stations and planes are caused by deranged individuals who say they do their bombing for religious purposes. But you show how did not know this?!

      December 13, 2012 at 5:11 am | Reply
      • willknutsen

        Of course my last line should have read: "But how could you not know this?"

        December 13, 2012 at 6:14 am |
  13. Denny

    I live in Bonn i am really scared 😡 because when America or England this attack know the whole wold will know it too and this is not good for Bonn Sorry my Languange is very bad i am German

    December 13, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
  14. empresstrudy

    I bet Glenn Greenwald is defending him over at The Guardian.

    December 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  15. cnemial

    The real question is why is Europe allowing so many Muslims to settle there? Borders were originally invented for real reasons. To ignore the lessons of history is to allow them to be repeated.

    December 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • Ali

      Absurd, so which religions should be allowed to live in Europe? Also the number of Europeans who have converted from atheism and Christianity is also on the rise. Should these people also be told to move after changing beliefs?

      December 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Reply
      • cnemial

        Various groups of peoples have their own cultures and feel comfortable mixing with their own kind. The Dutch have their own culture as do the French, German etc. They don’t like different groups, like the Muslims, coming here, outbreeding the locals, insisting that we conform to their values and hate us and our way of life. It will only be a matter of time before a modern day Ferdinand and Isabella will emerge and drive the Muslims out of Europe once more. We need a saviour or strong leader to carry out the wishes of the vast majority of Europeans.

        December 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
      • For the reply below

        The catholic monarchs you mentioned ordered the expulsion of muslims and jews from Spain, but not the converts, later on they captured the converts, imprisoned them and most of them were burnt to death, Europe did have a modern day Isabella and Ferdinand he was called Hitler, and true following to recent events in Europe and the presence of people like you, it does feel like there is another one on the sad

        December 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • HorizonLLM

      cnemial – you must be writing this just to cause issues and discussions. stirring up the pot. I just can't believe someone that ignorant actually reads the international news section. You belong in the Middle Ages...forts were used to keep others out. Exactly like your closed minded minds.
      tsk tsk.
      I bet you're going to assume I am Muslim too...

      December 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
      • Ham Cothurnal

        Can I butt in? All peoples like to have a place they call home where they can socialise and mix with people who share the same culture and values. That is the origin of countries when hunters and gatherers settled down. We are now engaging in a bold new experiment in mixing everyone together in the hope that we will all be enriched and get along together but history has taught us that, in the long term, that doesn’t work.

        December 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  16. Lexxvs

    So many attempts. One will succeed. That's the scary part. In context the mood in Europe is not one to agitate divisions. I guess fundamentalists know it too. And some of them made Europe their hated home.

    December 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  17. Bush Family Are NAZIs

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    December 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

      Careful. You'll p!ss off the Clovers.

      December 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • david

      Doesn't get sillier than this!

      December 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply
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    December 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  19. Ferd of Aragon

    The West will keep sleeping till their throats are cut by Muslims!

    December 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
    • Greg

      Gee Ferd, do you honestly believe what you posted above or are you trying to be funny? If the Muslims hate us so, it's because of our policies of taking over their countries abroad. This needs to stop!

      December 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
      • willknutsen

        There is no policy of "taking over other countries"! Iraq invaded, and had a war with Iran, 1980-1988. Then Iraq invaded Kuwait, 1990. A coalition of INTERNATIONAL forces drove the Iraqis out. The coalition force then left Iraq. In 2001 some Muslim terrorists attacked the USA with hi-jacked airliners, and caused the deaths of thousands. THEN America, with a coalition force, invaded Afghanistan because that is where the terrorists were based and protected by the Taliban government of the country. This force then invaded Iraq under questionable grounds, but the general population seemed at first quite happy to be liberated from their insane, despotic leader and his cohorts. Internal religious divisions in the land perhaps caused more deaths than the invasion-liberation. The coalition force is now leaving the land to fight its own problems. I am reasonably sure that if Muslim extremists stopped waging war on each other and on the rest of the world because of some really, really primitive and unscientific religious excuse, the rest of the world would happily go back to a non-war state. Then the problem of a people claiming land (Israel) in the name of a god could have a better chance at being resolved. Such a resolution would mean there had been a much needed mind-change for the whole of humanity: At last the world would understand there is no god bestowing land or anything else to a special people!

        December 13, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • sensible human

      You know i absolutely belive you. You nuts always crab that the "infidels" are causing all of your problems, but this is alll we hear from you! We dont walk around saying "all muslims should die". Why dont your "god" come down and do it himself????????????

      December 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • sensible human

      Hey ferd, what will all of these "holy" land countries do when they run out of oil? Trust me, we dont want anything to do with your land, just whats under it, and when it's gone? Will you still want to cut our throats?? Eat sand, then we will see.

      December 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  20. b

    Religion of peace

    December 12, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

      It sure as sh!t isn't Christianity.

      December 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  21. Dus_percenti

    Ah, c'mon paid paki trolls.. At least post your anti-India nonsense in some relevant article..

    I am guessing you guys are paid by the amount of bullcr#p you spew? Paid by the ISPR? You guys must be rolling in money by now 🙂 Good luck trolling!

    December 12, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
  22. ShahNawaz Ansari

    LIPSTICK ON A PIG (Afterall we all Pakistanis love pigs so much): The Story of Pakistan
    There is only so much one can do to make a pig look pretty
    Slapping some lipstick is the epitomy.
    PAKISTAN is mired in sewage and poverty.
    Terrorism Terrorism, Taliban Taliban
    Has done nothing but made the people loathe.
    Lipstick on a Pig is the Pakistan way
    Either nukes will soon blow it away.
    Or an implosion can perhaps ease the sway.
    Split Pakistan into three parts, give Balochistan to the Baloch’s the tribal and ungoverned part to Afghanistan and give other half to India. This will make it governable and manageable and this will generate tremendous economic demand for western nations, be democratically more efficient and easy to manage,
    My name is ShahNawaz and I am ashamed to be a Pakistani.

    December 12, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Anoop Rao Palprit

      I am Indian. I was born to a Dalit family that eventually abandoned backwards dharmic mentality and fled persecution in India. I demand a nation for oppressed Dalits, Assamese, naxals, and Christians of India. May West Bengal be merged with Bangladesh desh to help complete the 1971 revolution.

      December 12, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
      • Mohammed Alim

        I'm a Dalit convert to Islam and my life has not improved any better, nor that have of my other converts to Christianity. It is my hope to reconvert to Hinduism and work towards stronger India. India is my only hope.

        December 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  23. Hahahahahaha

    An Islamist Extremist?!!!!!!! Say it ain't so!!!! Gee Sherlock! Who would of thought that!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahaha

    December 12, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
  24. John L

    WHAT!!!! India's Gandhi in Auschwitz while Jews were being massacred there !!!! Deport all Indians from USA and Europe ifs and buts....NOW !!! Close Indian embassies down !!!

    December 12, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
    • Allaisa

      Deport yourself to whatever rock you crawled out from!

      December 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  25. ShankarH

    I am so ashamed to be an Indian. I, pn behalf of all Indian Hindus, apologize to the world and to the Jews particularly for our role in taking sides with Hitler and helping in the massacre of millions of Jews in Germany and Auschwitz. Sorry.

    December 12, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • ShankarH

      "pn" should read ""on". Thanks

      December 12, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
      • Allaisa

        Because of Hitler, Jews today have a nation. He should be celebrated as the Father of Israel (Btw this was opinion expressed in Britannica)

        December 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  26. Seth

    My reference is to @Barbara and @Pete R's postings. There is a prevailing culture that has a tendency to keep the populace in the dark. I will go as far as saying the media has been an accomplice in this endeavor. I am sure Americans have every right to know particularly those of Jewish descent and of course Israelis the extent of India's invovlement in the Jewish holocaust and Gandhi's presence in Auschwitz while Jews were being killed by Hitler.

    December 12, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
    • Shankar

      Man, this is sickening

      December 12, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
  27. Chris

    Wow Silverado – you sound just like Anders Brevik with that kind of Rhetoric. Congratulations on your racism – loser!

    December 12, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
  28. Karl

    A few months ago an auction was being arranged in Europe of Gandhi's letters and other artifacts corroborating the foregoing. Apparently, the Indian government in cahoots with expatriate Indian businessmen muscled the auctioneers and put a stop to this auction.

    December 12, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
    • Karl

      I am referring to Pete R posting

      December 12, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
  29. Pete R

    "It is no secret that Hitler and his Nazi cronies sought inspiration from Indian extremist groups including the branding of his Nazi Party by adopting the Swastika, a traditionally Hindu symbol and representation of Hindu god Ganesha, as its marketing tool. The thesis being that like the Norwegian massacre the Jewish holocaust orchestrated by Hitler was inspired by the inherently violent cult of Indian Hindus and the manifesto of its then extremist/terrorist groups still in existence today. These groups are now the successors to and carrying out the vision of Al Qaeda all over the world albeit in a clandestine manner."

    Let me quote another instance of this disgraceful disposition:
    It is no secret that Mahatma Gandhi (Hindu leader) was a pedophile. What is very disturbing is his relationship (!) and friendship with Hitler. He is known to have offered advice and encouragement to Hitler and his Nazi Party to undertake the Jewish Holocaust."

    December 12, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Barbara Rosenthal

      The German Government should immediately investigate Gandhi's realtionship with Hitler. Indian Government should be put on notice.

      December 12, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • Abby

      We should cut all diplomatic ties with India. Kick all Indians back to their medieval country

      December 12, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
  30. ShahNawaz Ansari

    My own country INDIA has become a cancer for this world. A source of financing and inspiration for all terrorists in the region the likes of which have attacked not only Malala but several other poor kids. A place where these extremists seek refuge after attacking neighboring countries and NATO forces and American troops. iNDIA is a Smithsonian specimen. Like humpty dumpty even USA, NATO and the entire free world are having a tough time holding it together. Living in the shadows of PAKISTAN, defined by China, and FED BY SOUP KITCHENS set up by charity Organizations such as Al Qaeda, Lashkar E Taibba, Jesh E Muhammad, Jamaad Ud Dawa
    find a meaning for its existence and a place in the new world order. How can it
    stand up? Certainly not on its feet .....perhaps on its knees to seek
    redemption for double crossing USA in Afghanistan and Iraq.For be fooling entire world in the name of war on terror and talibans, hiding it and making sure to loot billions from US taxpayers money.
    Split India give the tribal and ungoverned part to Myanmar and give other half to Pakistan. This will make it governable and manageable and this will generate
    tremendous economic demand for western nations, be democratically more efficient and easy to manage,

    December 12, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
  31. ShahNawaz Ansari

    • VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD (World Hindu Council)
    LEADERS: L.K. Advani/ Ashok Singhal/ Bala Saheb Devaras/ Bal Thackeray(EXTERMINATED)/ A.B. Vajpayee/ Savarkar/ Baikunnth Lal Sharma “Prem”/ Balraj Madhok/ The Shankaracharya of Puri, Niranjan Dev Theerth/ Rama Gopalan/ Variyar – Vishwan Hindu Parishad/ Dharmalinga Nadar/ Cho Ramaswamy

    December 12, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
  32. ShahNawaz Ansari

    My own country Pakistan has become a cancer for this world. A source of financing and inspiration for all terrorists in the region the likes of which have attacked not only Malala but several other poor kids. A place where these extremists seek refuge after attacking neighboring countries and NATO forces and American troops. Pakistan  is a Smithsonian specimen. Like humpty dumpty even USA, NATO and the entire free world are having a tough time holding it together. Living in the shadows of India, defined by China, and punctuated by Terror Organizations such as Al Qaeda, Lashkar E Taibba, Jesh E Muhammad, Jamaad Ud Dawa
    find a meaning for its existence and a place in the new world order. How can it
    stand up? Certainly not on its feet .....perhaps on its knees to seek
    redemption for double crossing USA in Afghanistan and Iraq.For be fooling entire world in the name of war on terror and OBL, hiding it and making sure to loot billions from US taxpayers money.
    Split Pakistan, give the tribal and ungoverned part to Afghanistan and give other half to India. This will make it governable and manageable and this will generate
    tremendous economic demand for western nations, be democratically more efficient and easy to manage,
    My name is ShahNawaz and I am ashamed to be a Pakistani

    December 12, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • Shankar

      Hello Sherry..Will you marry me popsickles? Same s@x marriage is now legal in California. Will give you a good life in India if you ashamed of your current status. Cow dung for lunch...for starters.

      December 12, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
      • Anoop Rao Palprit

        I'm game if Indian national drink of cow urine soda would be available

        December 12, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • John L

      This is NOT about Pakistan...bufoon.

      December 12, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
  33. Silverado

    Hello Germans, you can blame yourselves allowing all that Muslim immigration in the name of multiculturalism. We hope you are enjoying it just as much as we are enjoying it here.

    December 12, 2012 at 7:11 am | Reply
    • Manheim

      We blame you Indians for taking part in Hitler's extermination of Jews in Germany and Auschwitz etc. Go back home hindus !!!

      December 12, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Jens

      @ Silverado: You realize multiculturalism was imported and mandated to Germany by the USA after WWII right? Germany is still governed by the government that was imposed by the Allies during the occupation. No part of traditional German culture is particularly foreigner friendly. Neither are the actual Germans today.

      December 12, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
      • dbas


        December 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm |

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