Articles, Opinions & Views: Germany: Muslim stops train traffic with bomb threat, politicians and press initially suspected right-wing radicals

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Germany: Muslim stops train traffic with bomb threat, politicians and press initially suspected right-wing radicals
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

German Railway Station

Robert Spencer : What motivates an 18-year-old to threaten to bomb a train station? As a sympathizer of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia, the youth had already revealed himself in mid-January.

Did the bomb threat at the Offenburg train station have a political or religious background, or did an adolescent simply act out? On day two, after the large-scale police operation in tranquil Offenburg, the main suspect is now in custody.

On Wednesday, just a few hours after the large-scale police operation, the 18-year-old was brought before the magistrate at the Karlsruhe district court. According to Manuel Graulich, spokesman for the responsible law enforcement agency, he then issued the arrest warrant.

The 18-year-old is not a blank slate. In a joint press release, the public prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe and the police headquarters in Offenburg refer to an incident at the beginning of the year. On January 14, the suspect, who was still young at the time, was noticed because the police found a “deceptive-looking replica firearm” on him during a check.

And even then, the young man probably just barely escaped prison. “Against the accused, who at the time identified himself as a sympathizer with the terrorist militia IS, the public prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe obtained an arrest warrant in this context on account of the allegation of faking a criminal offence, which, however, was suspended against conditions,” the press release said.

This sheds at least some light on the social background of the 18-year-old, whom the police arrested on a regional train at around 8:50 p.m. after the bomb threat via a social network.

And with that, one speculation seems to be off the table: Does he perhaps belong to the spectrum of right-wing radicals, Corona deniers or to the circle of the extremist group that – as reported – planned the kidnapping of Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) as well as a coup? As Manuel Graulich explained to the editorial staff, there is “no connection whatsoever” to these groups.

Whether the 18-year-old was in a mental state of emergency is also the subject of the investigation. It is the normal catalog of questions that the investigating authorities are trying to clarify. As reported in detail, the supposed bomb threat in the late evening of April 19 called for a massive contingent of state and federal police, especially at the Offenburg train station.

Ansgar Gernsbeck, spokesman for the police headquarters in Offenburg, explained that the editors were even called in to support the police from the Freiburg and Constance headquarters. Specially trained dogs helped in the search for explosives. However, no such substances were found.

An eyewitness wrote on Facebook that the train and station had been evacuated. His comment: “Everything on site is like in the film.” The large-scale police operation in Offenburg caused by the bomb threat had serious effects, especially on long-distance rail traffic in the Rhine Valley. The Lahr train station was also closed for two hours.

In the initial scenario, the police assumed that the attack could also have been carried out there. After an intensive search of the station area, however, the all-clear was given after about two hours.
As a result, train traffic did not start moving for a long time. It was not until around 0.30 a.m. that regular services were possible again. Those who wanted to take the high-speed train ICE 377 from Berlin Ostbahnhof to Basel SBB, for example, needed patience.

The train stopped for almost one and a half hours in Karlsruhe main station.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:19 AM  
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