The main suspect in the attack on the Dortmund soccer team's bus was a member of "Islamic State" in Iraq, authorities have said. Prosecutors added there was no evidence linking him to the explosions targeting the bus.
German federal prosecutors announced on Thursday that the main suspect detained over an attack targeting the Borussia Dortmund football team was a member of "Islamic State" (IS) in Iraq. However, they were unable to find any evidence linking him to the triple blast that shook Germany on Tuesday evening.
"The investigations have so far resulted in no proof that the suspect had taken part in the attack," the authorities said in statement, adding that he was a member of a "foreign terrorist organization," and that an arrest warrant was being sought on that ground. He allegedly led a unit of 10 commandos who carried out kidnappings and executions.
The suspect, identified only as Abdul Beset A. due to German privacy laws, was set to appear in court later on Thursday. The judge must then decide whether or not to issue the warrant. Without it, prosecutors cannot hold him for longer than 24 hours.
Islamist claim of responsibility for attack
On Tuesday evening, the bus carrying the Dortmund team to a Champions League match with AS Monaco was targeted by three explosions left on the road near the vehicle's path. Spanish defender Marc Bartra was injured by flying shards of glass and required surgery, but no one was killed in the attack.
Authorities discovered two letters claiming responsibility for the attack. One, which was attributed to the far-left movement Antifa, was likely a fake, a spokeswoman for Germany's federal prosecutor said. The other, which said the attack was carried out "in the name of Allah, the merciful," and blamed Chancellor Angela Merkel for "murdering Muslims," in Syria, was being investigated by authorities.
A second suspect was also detained on Wednesday, but police later released him based on lack of evidence.
Dortmund went on to lose the rescheduled game to Monaco on Wednesday night, prompting angry coach Thomas Tuchel to blast Champions League organizer UEFA for not giving the team "a bit of time to deal with" the attempt on their lives. He said they had been treated "as if a beer can was thrown at the bus."
es/rt (AP, dpa),dw.com