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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Terrorist train bombs failed to detonate in Germany : Hezbollah funded Lebanese student arrested - accomplice being sought

Terrorist train bombs failed to detonate in Germany : Hezbollah funded Lebanese student arrested - accomplice being sought

August 19, 2006

News Source Reports:

This morning, the 19th of august, the German police arrested a 22 year old Lebanese student Youssoef Mohammed at Kiel Central station. The authorities accuse the young man who is living in Kiel at a student hostel since 2004 of planting a bomb at Cologne's central station on the 31st of July. Experts allege the technology student Youssoef Mohammed is member of a larger terrorist ring. His unknown accomplice is still on the run.
In the meantime intelligence sources state that Hezbollah supports a number of students from Libanon and has its own foreign scholarshipscheme. These Hezbollah students who study at German universities are possibly a security risk to the state.


Lebanese held over 'terror plot'
CCTV footage of a suspect in the German rail bombing case German police released security camera footage on Friday
A Lebanese student has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planting bombs on trains last month which are believed to have been a failed terror attack.

The man, 21, was detained at the main rail station in the city of Kiel.

The arrest follows the release of closed circuit TV footage of two male suspects by police on Friday.

The devices in abandoned suitcases on two trains failed to go off. Police said the bombers had intended to kill large numbers of people.

The student had been studying in the Baltic Sea port city of Kiel, where he was arrested in the early morning. He had been in Germany since 2004.

Chief prosecutor Monika Harms said he had apparently been planning to flee the country.

Reports say police searched his home in the city on Saturday afternoon.

He is believed to be "one of the two suspects that have been sought since yesterday with the help of video footage that was made public," the public prosecutors' office said.

In the video, the two suspects - dark-haired young men - are seen wheeling suitcases at Cologne station. Joerg Ziercke, head of Germany's Federal Crime Office, told reporters in the city he was confident that "we caught the right suspected bomb planter here in Kiel today".

Second suspect

Investigators first thought the bombs were part of a blackmail attempt, but they now believe the incident was the work of a terrorist group based in Germany.

A policeman carries out a suspect package from Dortmund station on 31 July 2006 Faulty construction may be why the devices failed to go off

A note written in Arabic, a telephone number in Lebanon, and packets of starch with labels in Arabic and English were found alongside the devices.

The authorities say they are investigating a possible link to Lebanon but they also haven't ruled out a link to Pakistan.

The identical suitcase bombs were fitted with timers set to go off 10 minutes before the trains arrived in Dortmund and Koblenz.

Police think they failed to detonate because of a construction flaw.

While the German authorities said the arrest is a major breakthrough in their investigation they warn that the second suspect is still at large.

Security has since been stepped up at German airports, and the rail authorities have announced they are installing more closed circuit TV cameras at stations.



German bombs 'mass murder' bid
A policeman carries out a suspect package from Dortmund station on 31 July 2006 Police are still trying to work out why the devices did not explode
German police have ruled out blackmail as the reason why two bombs were left on trains on 31 July - and now believe it was a failed terror attack.

The bombs were in identical black cases on trains in Dortmund and Koblenz.

They had been timed to explode 10 minutes before the trains arrived, said federal crime chief Joerg Ziercke.

"We are now working on the basis that this was the work of a terrorist group... and was an attempt to kill a large number of people," he said.

Police want to trace two men seen on CCTV wheeling cases at Cologne station.

Initial suggestions that the bombs may have been an attempt to blackmail a train company had been ruled out, Mr Ziercke said.

He said police were working on the theory that the group responsible were based in Germany.

Arabic note found with one of the failed bombs on a German train The Arabic note found with one of the bombs lists grocery items

The devices consisted of gas canisters, alarm clocks, wires, batteries and a flammable liquid in soft drink bottles.

A handwritten note in Arabic, listing groceries, a telephone number in Lebanon and packets of starch labelled in Arabic and English, were also found.

Mr Ziercke said up to 100 investigators were trying to work out why the devices failed to detonate. "We still have many unanswered questions," he said.

He appealed to the public for help in tracking down the people who planted the device.



Tribune news services

August 19, 2006

WIESBADEN, GERMANY -- German investigators said Friday that bombs found on two trains last month might have been planted by two young men angered by the war in Lebanon.

The bombs were discovered in two abandoned suitcases on July 31 by train conductors in regional commuter trains in the northwestern cities of Koblenz and Dortmund.

The ignition mechanisms triggered, but the bombs failed to explode. If they had, officials said, they could have destroyed several train cars and derailed the trains, with an untold number of casualties.

German police, citing surveillance videos from the station in Cologne where the two young men boarded the trains, described them as men in their 20s with a "southern appearance."

The bombs found in Germany had been programmed to explode at 2:30 p.m., before the trains reached their destinations, the towns of Moenchengladbach and Hamm.

German police hypothesize that the suspects were angry about the Israel-Hezbollah war, in part because of evidence that included a bag of Lebanese cooking starch and a Lebanese telephone number.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said authorities were stepping up the policing of trains and stations and that they might approach travelers and examine luggage.

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