German police are investigating the detonation of two bombs on Monday night, apparently targeting a local Turkish mosque and an International Congress Centre.
Mosques in Dresden, Germany, are under police protection Tuesday after a small explosive device blew in the front door of the Turkish community’s Fatih-Camii mosque on Monday night. Architectural features of the city’s waterfront International Congress Centre were damaged by a second blast.
There were no injuries in the attacks, which occurred around 10pm, although citizens were evacuated from nearby and residents were warned to keep away from windows. The mosque, which was inhabited at the time of the explosion by the imam, his wife, and two children, was not harmed beyond a buckled front door and smoke damage.
Local newspaper Dresdner Neuste Nachrichten reports police are now examining a “xenophobic motive” after parts of what the Associated Press has called “homemade explosives” were found at the scenes.
Police spokesman Horst Kretzschmar said of the explosions: “Both attacks are linked by time. Although there has been no claim of responsibility, we are investigating a xenophobic motive.
“Further, we are seeing a connection with the celebrations of Unification day next weekend… we are now working in crisis mode.”
Fifty officers were deployed last night after the explosions, to both investigate the blasts and stand guard at Dresden’s two mosques and an Islamic centre.
Unification day is the annual celebration and public holiday of the coming together of West and East Germany in 1990, at the end of the Cold War. The police spokesman said security preparations for events celebrating the reunification were going to be re-assessed in the aftermath of the attack.
Local politicians moved quickly to condemn the explosions, with Green politicians dominating in local news coverage. Green Saxony parliament member Valentin Lippmann said, accepting that the attack was certainly xenophobic in nature: “The xenophobic attacks are a threat to the life and limb of people they target, are attacks on our free and pluralistic society, and will fuel fears.
“This must be directly challenged, both by intensive work of security authorities as well as by clear reactions and attitude of policy. We must not allow that such acts be repeated”.
Fellow Green member Volker Beck, who courted international attention for trying to legalise sex with children in 2013 and this year after being suspended from his party for a crystal meth arrest, said: “Who attacks churches, also does not hesitate to kill people. It makes no difference whether the target is a mosque or church, a synagogue or a temple. Now solidarity is required.”
This is not the first apparent bomb attack against a religious building in Germany in the past year. Breitbart London reported in April on an attack against a Sikh temple in Essen by three Muslim youths, who set a bomb timed to detonate during a wedding.
The teens responsible were enrolled in a German government youth anti-radicalisation programme at the time of the attack. They were found guilty of attempted murder and had links to Salafist organisations and interest in Islamic State propaganda. However, the explosion was not recognised as terrorism.