Suspect arrested in Borussia Dortmund bus 'terrorist' attack

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  April 12, 2017 at 9:22 AM
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April 12 (UPI) -- Germany's prosecutor general on Wednesday said police arrested one suspect following the "terrorist" bomb attack targeting the Borussia Dortmund soccer team bus.

The prosecutor general, which operates under the Federal Court of Justice, said the explosion occurred at about 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday as the team was on its way to the Westfalenstadion, or Signal Iduna Park, soccer stadium.

When the bus passed the Wittbräucker Straße 563 street in the city of Dortmund, three explosions occurred from behind a hedge.

"The detonation severely damaged the crew bus. One of the occupants suffered serious injuries on the arm through a fragmented window pane," the prosecutor general said in a statement.

The prosecutor general said the devices, which were fitted with shrapnel, had an explosive effect of more than 328 feet. The explosion injured Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra, who was hospitalized and underwent surgery.

Authorities found three written texts near the bomb site.

"The terrorist background of the attack is based on the facts of the crime. The federal prosecutor has therefore taken the investigation. The exact motive of the attack is still unclear," the prosecutor general said. "At the site of the attack, three texts of the same kind were found. Therefore it appears an Islamic background is possible."

The texts said, among other things, that troops should withdraw from Syria and that called for the U.S.-operated Ramstein Air Base to close, the prosecutor general said.

Police searched the apartments of two suspects "from the Islamic spectrum" -- one of which has been detained.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Borussia Dortmund Chief Executive Officer Hans-Joachim Watzke on Wednesday to deliver a message of support to the soccer team, Borussia Dortmund said.

"The chancellor sees it as a positive step that the team is not giving in to terror and is instead going ahead with the match at this difficult time," Borussia Dortmund said in a statement.

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