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Police Investigate Islamist Motives in Dortmund Bus Bombing

Authorities are examining whether the Islamic State is responsible for explosions that hit the bus of soccer team Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, media reported. A letter citing Allah and IS has been found near the attack site.

Investigations into explosions that hit the bus of Germany’s Borussia Dortmund soccer team Tuesday evening are now focused on a potential Islamist background, because of a letter found near the attack site.

The federal prosecutor responsible for state security has taken over the investigation, the Karlsruhe-based office said Wednesday. A special task force was also set up in Berlin following news of the attack.

According to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the letter found near the attack site began with, “In the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate.” It allegedly refers to the Christmas market attack in Berlin in December, and claims that German Tornado military jets are involved in the murder of Muslims in Islamic State-controlled areas of Syria.

The letter threatens that athletes and celebrities “in Germany and other crusader countries” would be on a “death list of the Islamic State” until Germany withdraws its Tornado jets from Syria and a US military base in Ramstein in southwestern Germany is closed.

Prosecutor Sandra Luecke told journalists late Tuesday that the letter claimed responsibility for the attack, and its authenticity was still being verified. She did not reveal its content. Süddeutsche Zeitung now reports that writing, Islam and forensics experts are all intensively analyzing the letter.

A set of three explosions went off shortly after 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, allegedly hidden in bushes and detonated as the bus passed in the city of Dortmund, around 10 kilometers, or 7 miles, from the stadium. The Borussia Dortmund team had just left its hotel, en route to a Champions League quarterfinal soccer match against AS Monaco.

Two injuries have been reported. Spanish defender Marc Bartra underwent surgery on a broken wrist after being hit by flying glass, and a policeman, who had been escorting the team bus via motorcycle, suffered trauma from the noise of the explosions.


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