No evidence linking detained 'Islamist' suspect to Dortmund blasts - prosecutors

2017-04-13 11:07
A window of Dortmund's team bus is damaged after an explosion before the Champions League quarter-final against AS Monaco. (Martin Meissner, AP)

A window of Dortmund's team bus is damaged after an explosion before the Champions League quarter-final against AS Monaco. (Martin Meissner, AP)

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Berlin - German federal prosecutors said on Thursday that they had no evidence that the sole suspect in custody for the bomb attack against the Borussia Dortmund football team bus was linked to the crime.

However, they said that they were seeking an arrest warrant to keep the 26-year-old Iraqi national identified only as Abdul Beset A in detention over allegedly having been a "member of the Islamic State group" in Iraq.

Abdul Beset A was detained in connection with the three explosions that rocked the Borussia Dortmund bus late onTuesday, injuring a player and a police officer.

Federal prosecutors have called it a "terrorist" attack and said they are focusing on suspects in the "Islamist spectrum".

But in a statement on Thursday they acknowledged: "The investigation has not found evidence that the suspect took part in the attack."

They said, however, that they now believe Abdul Beset A joined the Islamic State group in Iraq in late 2014 and was the commander of a unit of around 10 fighters.

"The goal of the unit was to prepare kidnappings, abductions, extortion and killings," the prosecutors said.

He crossed the border into Turkey in March 2015 and continued on in early 2016 to Germany "where the suspect maintained contact with ISIS members," they added.

Abdul Beset A will appear on Thursday before a judge who will decide on prosecutors' application for the arrest warrant.

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