Saturday 21 September 2019

‘Five-bomb plot’ to hit soccer game in Germany

Heavy armed police patrol downtown Hanover after the match was called off by police due to a security threat
Heavy armed police patrol downtown Hanover after the match was called off by police due to a security threat

Justin Huggler

A plot to carry out a series of five bombings was behind Germany’s decision to cancel a high-profile football match at the last minute earlier this week, according to new claims.

A newspaper claims to have seen a copy of a detailed dossier on the planned attacks in Hanover that was passed to the German authorities by French intelligence two hours before kick-off.

It was the contents of this dossier that prompted the Germans to order the immediate evacuation of the stadium half an hour later, the newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung claims.

The dossier gives details of a plan by a five-member terror cell led by a German citizen to target the football match in a series of co-ordinated bomb attacks.

One member is a woman, according to the newspaper report, while another is named as Faiz A.

The terror cell was planning to set off three bombs inside the stadium during the game, according to the newspaper.

They would be smuggled into the stadium in vehicles authorised to enter, or by cell members with tickets.

Another bomb would be hidden at a bus stop, while a fifth would be placed at a railway station by the female member of the group seven hours after the first blasts. It was not a planned suicide attack.

The woman was planning to leave on another train after placing the bomb.

The German authorities have so far refused to give any details of the intelligence behind the decision to call off Tuesday’s match against the Netherlands.

“Some of these answers would alarm the public,” Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister, has said.

The game had been billed as a show of defiance against the Paris attacks, and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was due to attend along with several senior cabinet ministers.

Police say they found no explosives despite an all-night search of the stadium and city.

But Bild newspaper has published allegations of a cover-up, claiming a paramedic witnessed explosives hidden in an ambulance at the stadium. The unnamed paramedic says special forces were on the scene and he was “told not to talk about it”, the newspaper claims.

The report also claims that three police officers have been disciplined for leaking information about alleged bomb finds.

Meanwhile, Meanwhile, the leader of the police squad that ended the Nov 13 massacre by storming the Bataclan concert hall said it was “hell on earth”, with bodies lying in pools of blood on the floor.


He said his men were forced to ignore the pleas of the wounded and dying as they combed the premises for the gunmen. The commander of the elite BRI unit, using the pseudonym Jeremy, said: “A lot of people asked us to help them because they were wounded, bleeding and we had to say no, first we have to find the terrorists. It [was] difficult for the guys.”

When they first entered, there was “no sound”. He said: “Nobody was screaming. Nobody was moving because they were afraid of the terrorists.” He added: “As soon as we opened the door, one of the terrorists shot between 25 to 30 rounds of AK47 bullets at us.” He said the memories make it difficult for him to sleep at night.

Irish Independent

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