Who bombed the Borussia bus?

So far, no perpetrators have been arrested in connection to the April 12 bombing of the bus belonging to a big-league German soccer team, Borussia Dortmund. It’s clearly a terrorist incident. But one “usual suspect” terror group could be ruled out because of the pattern it doesn’t fit, say German experts:

The early suspicions of investigators seem to be confirmed in that three identical messages, which were found at the scene of the crime after the bomb attacks on the team bus of Borussia Dortmund, could not be clearly identified with a single extremist tendency. An expert in Islamic studies came to the conclusion that there are “considerable doubts that the letters were written by radical Islamists”. The author(s) of the identically-worded messages apparently only wanted to give the impression that the act came from an islamistic background. They may have claimed to be acting in the name of Allah, but much of the text was allegedly atypical of the so-called Islamic State (IS) terror militia.

This assessment is based on the written characteristics of the letters as well as the demands therein. The authors had threatened, among other things, that athletes would “immediately” go onto a death list, if for example the Rammstein Air Base were not closed down. “IS doesn’t bargain,” said a federal security agent from Düsseldorf with regard to this point. Also, no letters claiming responsibility have been found, to date, at the scenes of any Islamist attacks. The letters found in Dortmund altogether lacked the symbols of IS.

Nordrhein-Westfalian security experts, independent of this expertise, drew an early conclusion that someone whose first language was German had written the letters. The unknown person had, however, built in some errors in order to make it look as though a foreigner had written them. Why? There are still several inconsistencies.

Investigators from the federal prosecutor’s office are checking the incident in all directions and don’t want to narrow down the leads through any early conclusions. Right- and left-leaning extremists, as well as Islamists and common criminals, are all being investigated. Also not ruled out: that the criminals are violent soccer fans, said NRW interior minister Ralf Jäger on Thursday during a session of the Düsseldorf regional parliament.

So far, there has been no spectacular arrest in the Dortmund case. This even though a 26-year-old Iraqi refugee, who had been living in Wuppertal since 2016, was taken into custody one day after the April 12 attack. But the investigations had “until now produced no evidence for” him being involved in the attack, said the state attorney’s office. The man has long been suspected of cultivating contact with IS members. To that end, the investigators released a telephone call that had been intercepted a few days before the crime. In it, an unknown person had told the 26-year-old that the explosive charge was ready.

What the unknown person meant by that is unclear. Presumably it has nothing to do with the attack in Dortmund. However, the investigative judge took out an arrest warrant against the Iraqi on suspicion of membership in a foreign terroristic group. He allegedly joined IS in Iraq in 2014 at the latest, and directed a terror cell. Reports from foreign secret agencies, statements from his former wife, as well as an administrative report from the BND, place heavy suspicion on the man.

There are many diverse directions [to follow in] the Dortmund attack. Whether there is a promising lead among them or not remains unclear. The explosive charges, in any case, were professionally constructed. They had a blast radius of more than a hundred metres, and were filled with shrapnel. One of the many pieces of shrapnel buried itself in the headrest of one of the bus seats. Criminal investigations into the explosive material were still incomplete on Friday.

In contrast with early findings in this investigation, there is an older case, which took place 32 years ago in Dortmund. A bomb went off in a local department store in March of 1985, severely injuring eight people. Politicians and tabloid media immediately blamed the crime on the [most feared] terror gang of the time, the Red Army Faction (RAF). Dissenting opinions, such as that of Hamburg security chief Christian Lochte, suggesting it could have also been neo-Nazis or apolitical teenage hooligans, were at first dismissed.

Then it came out that a 20-year-old apprentice of a right-wing background had built the pipe bomb himself and hidden it in the department store. He wanted to “experience panic” and see “how people react when it really goes off”. He was sentenced to five years in a young-offender facility. The police came onto his trail through the testimony of a friend of his.

Translation mine.

So, not Daesh, because as experts affirm, “they don’t bargain”. Who then?

Well, as the closing paragraphs hint, it could be a common hooligan, or a band of them. And neo-Nazis — an ever-underestimated, yet highly prevalent scourge in Germany — shouldn’t be ruled out, either. Even though the fashion in media seems to be to blame foreigners and the left. You’d think that after over 32 years, they’d have learned their lesson there, no?

Well, NO. But that’s okay, because a right-wing entity has come forward to claim responsibility anyway, after a couple of predictable, transparent head-fakes designed to stir up public opinion against…well, the usual suspects:

The federal criminal agency (BKA) has received an e-mail admitting guilt in the attack on the Borussia team bus in Dortmund for the supposed act of a far-right copycatter. A “personal identification of the originator of the text” of the letter taking responsibility found at the scene could be “ruled out”, according to a BKA analysis of the e-mail, which arrived on Thursday night at the Tagesspiegel office.

The e-mail’s author refers to Adolf Hitler, rails against “Multi Kulti”, and threatens a further attack for April 22 in Köln. The “text originator” suggests “a connection, be it only of ideological nature, to the ‘National Socialist Underground’ (NSU),” writes the BKA.

In the e-mail, it reads “The Underground is back.” However, the BKA considers the danger of an attack in Köln upon demonstrators against the [far-right] AFD party convention to be minimal. The e-mail will still be considered as part of an “assessment of danger”, says the BKA statement.

Translation, again, mine.

No word on the name(s) of the sender(s) of this message. But if nothing else, it points up the stupidity of jumping to any too-easy conclusions about terrorism in Germany…and who’s really perpetrating the bulk of it. The NSU, for instance, has flown under the radar for years, even as terror attacks against Muslim immigrants and refugees have increased (and far outstripped any crimes committed by said immigrants and refugees). It should be blindingly obvious that even now, nearly a hundred years after the original Nazi gangsters terrorized the land, the far-right continues to be Germany’s biggest source of terrorism. The initial urge to blame either Islamists, leftists, or both, however, plays right into those same old hands.

As usual, “Cui bono” is the question to ask. And it is the question the media keep failing to ask, even if the investigators do ask it.

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