German agencies trace al Qaeda link into failed bomb attack
Berlin: German investigators have traced a possible al Qaeda connection to the failed attempt to carry out a bomb attack at the main railway station in Bonn a week ago, according to media reports.
Officials of the security and intelligence agencies have identified the prime suspect, who planted a powerful bomb at a railway platform during the rush hour last Monday, as "a leading figure among the Islamic militants circle" in Bonn.
He has been under police observation because of his contacts with al Qaeda and with a network radical Islamists in Germany, the reports said.
The Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe on Friday took over the investigations into the failed bomb attack from the state authorities in North Rhine Westphalia saying it has "strong indications" that the attempted bomb attack was planned by a domestic terrorist organisation "carrying the hallmarks of Islamic militants."
It has also obtained "incriminating evidences" to support that the person who left a bag containing the bomb at the railway station has links with radical Islamic circles, the prosecutor's office said in statement.
The bomb was made up of a 40 cm long metal pipe filled with ammonium nitrate, which was wrapped around by four butane gas cannisters and filled with nails. There were also different packs of batteries, a timer and a bulb, which were intended serve as the detonator, according to the reports.
However, it did not explode because of a "construction error," the reports said quoting investigating officials.
It would have unleashed a large fireball and sent metal splinters and nails around, causing many casualties and serious injuries if it had exploded, the officials said.
Shortly after the bomb was detected by passers-by, it was made harmless by a team of bomb disposal experts using a water cannon.
Local police in Bonn has been circulating a phantom photo of the dark-skinned main suspect, asking for information from the public to track him down.