German prosecutors have cast doubt on the authenticity of letters that suggested Islamist militants attacked soccer team Borussia Dortmund’s bus and a newspaper cited an investigator as saying right-wing extremists were probably behind the bomb attack.
Three identical letters printed in German found near the scene of Tuesday’s attack in Dortmund had stated it was carried out “in the name of Allah”, broadcaster ARD reported, citing other media.
The letters referred to the use of Tornado reconnaissance planes in Syria, which Germany has deployed as part of the military campaign against ISIS.
A sole suspect — an Iraqi man — taken into custody over the Islamist link has since been cleared of involvement and a second claim, purporting to be from the far-left, was made online, but prosecutors had ruled it out early on.
With Dortmund players due back on the pitch in the Bundesliga, police are pursuing leads regarding the attack on Tuesday that injured Spanish international Marc Bartra and a policeman.
A report commissioned by investigators said there were “significant doubts” about the letters and suggested they had been written to trick people into thinking there was an Islamist militant motive, ARD added.
“That’s accurate,” Frauke Koehler, a spokeswoman for the federal public prosecutor’s office, said when asked to comment on the ARD report.
“It is indeed doubtful,” she said of the letters.
Asked why there were doubts, she said she could not give any more information as the investigation was ongoing.
Bild newspaper cited an investigator as saying: “The overall circumstances lead us to believe it’s most likely that the perpetrators have a right-wing background.”
German newspaper Tagesspiegel revealed it had received a new letter, apparently from far-right circles, railing against multi-culturalism, saying it had been behind the triple blast and threatening another attack. It said the letter referred to Adolf Hitler, railed against multiculturalism and suggested another attack might occur on April 22.
“We have the letter claiming responsibility. We are examining it,” said Frauke Koehler, spokeswoman for federal prosecutors, referring to the claim received by Tagesspiegel.
Koehler said prosecutors had received a copy of the letter but she could not comment further.
The Borussia Dortmund players’ bus was heading to their stadium for a Champions League match against AS Monaco on Tuesday when three explosions shattered a window on Dortmund’s bus.