German investigators yesterday detained a suspect over three explosions that rocked the Borussia Dortmund soccer team’s bus, prosecutors said, confirming that the probe was examining a possible “terrorist link.”
The roadside blasts left Dortmund’s Spain international Marc Bartra and a police officer injured, with the bombs “containing metal pieces” detonating minutes after the team bus set off to a UEFA Champions League game against AS Monaco on Tuesday night.
The blast had a radius of more than 100m, federal prosecutors said, adding it was lucky the toll was not more severe.
The match was put back to yesterday as security was ratcheted up in Dortmund and Munich, where Bayern Munich were due to take on Real Madrid, but a defiant Dortmund vowed not to “give in to terror,” with players returning to the pitch for training.
Federal prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Frauke Koehler said the probe was examining a possible “terrorist link” after three identical letters were found at the scene.
“An Islamist background appears to be possible,” she said, noting that the letter demanded that Germany withdraw from international coalition against the Islamic State group and close the US air base in the town of Ramstein.
“Two suspects from the Islamist spectrum have become the focus of our investigation. Both of their apartments were searched and one of the two has been detained,” she added.
Following the attack, hundreds of Dortmund fans offered visiting Monaco supporters a bed for the night.
Within minutes of confirmation that the quarter-final first leg had been postponed, the hashtag #BedsForAwayFans was being used on Twitter to connect stranded Monaco fans with places to stay in the city.
Stephanie Lentz, a nurse from Saverne, in the northeast of France, who had traveled to the match with her brother and a friend, said they received several offers and met up with Dortmund fan Michael Seine.
“Our host was very sympathetic. He was homely and gave us a warm welcome. For him it was [the] natural thing to do,” Lentz said. “Some people think football fans are crazy or violent, but the true values of football is what the Dortmund fans made with their hospitality yesterday.”
Barbara Welding, a Dortmund fan who lives close to the stadium, hosted two Monaco fans after offering her home on Twitter.
“It was their very first time in the stadium. We had a drink together and talked about the day,” she said. “It was easy to offer our home.”
Hotel owner and Dortmund supporter Ute Uhlenkltt offered rooms free of charge after hearing that the match had been postponed.
“It was the only thing I could do,” she said. “I wanted to show solidarity and as a Dortmund fan, if something happened to my family or children, I would hope someone would do the same for us.”
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit