Was the Dortmund football bombs attack Islamic or ‘anti-fascist’ terrorism? Or was it a deadly new combination? That’s the important question that was being asked in a fast-developing investigation in Germany. But now the police say they know “who dunnit”.
This morning the police announced that the letter found at the scene of the attack claiming responsibility began with the dedication “In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.”
German investigators are examining the possible Islamist link to three explosions that rocked the Borussia Dortmund football team bus after the letter found at the scene “in the name of Allah” referred with approval to the Berlin Christmas market attack.
The letter also named Angela Merkel and mentioned Germany’s deployment of Tornado reconnaissance missions as part of an international coalition fighting Islamic State (at least, when it’s not bombing the Syrians who are fighting Islamic State), according to local media.
There was some confusion when it emerged that police were also examining a second letter of responsibility from the “anti-fascist scene”. Focus online magazine reported that ANTIFA, the left wing anti-Nazi group, claimed responsibility on the internet on Wednesday morning.
In a post online, it says the bus was targetted because the Dortmund team had not done enough to fight racism, right-wing populism and neo-Nazism.
But police have now described the second letter as a hoax. Thjey have confirmed that they have arrested a known Islamist and are hunting for another, who had fled from his flat by the time they raided it.
The three explosions occurred as the Dortmund squad were travelling to the Signal Iduna Park stadium for Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg. The bombs were reportedly ‘serious’ and were triggered remotely, probably by a mobile phone.
This is a worrying indication that the Jihadists are looking to run a long term campaign of IRA-style bombings where the perpetrators get away to strike another day, rather than one-off suicide attacks. The IRA approach is, of course, far more sustainable and hence far more dangerous.