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German suitcase bombs 'part of terrorist plot'

CNN | August 19 2006

German officials said on Friday that suitcase bombs that failed to go off on two regional trains July 31 were likely part of a failed terrorist attack and released surveillance video of possible suspects they are seeking.

"If these bombs were detonated, this very likely would have caused deaths and injured," German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

"Therefore we have to take this event very seriously. And we have to expect that the danger of a repeat attempt still exists. And therefore the public manhunt for these persons is necessary."

Authorities displayed the two suitcases plus gas canisters and bottles containing liquid.

Joerg Ziercke, head of the Federal Criminal Police, told the news conference, "We have found pieces of paper with Arabic letters and telephone numbers from Lebanon in the clothes which were in the suitcases to insulate or fix the gas bottles.

"Thus, it is imaginable, and I stress 'imaginable,' that the offenders wanted to set a signal with regard to the Mideast conflict and accepted a massive threat with destruction and possible human casualties in doing so."

The suitcases containing the bombs were found on trains in Dortmund and Koblenz.

The authorities said they were offering a 50,000-euro reward for information about the failed bombings.

They also showed surveillance video of possible suspects at the two train stations.

The suitcases were identical black cases with a gas canister, alarm clock, wires, batteries and soft drink bottles filled with flammable liquid.


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