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Germany

Police thwart bomb plot against soccer club Borussia Dortmund

Police in Germany have uncovered a bomb threat to top German soccer club Borussia Dortmund after explosives were found near the club's ground. A 25-year-old man has been taken into custody.

Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund

Three suspicious objects were found near the stadium

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) said on Thursday that it had thwarted a possible bomb attack against German soccer club Borussia Dortmund.

Three suspicious objects containing explosive substances were found near the stadium. They were subsequently made safe.

The police announcement followed the arrest on Tuesday at a hotel in Cologne of a 25-year-old man of German nationality. He told investigators he had planted the devices near the club's stadium.

The man was arrested after anonymous tip-offs about a planned terror attack were e-mailed to the German embassy in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, details of which the man confirmed.

A spokesman for Berlin's Interior Ministry said there was no indication of a link between the suspect and terror or Islamist organisations. "The suspect was apparently acting on his own with a criminal motivation," said the spokesman. Police said that the individual who sent the e-mails was under suspicion in connection with a possible extortion attempt.

Explosives and chemicals seized

A further three explosive items were found and made safe in the man's apartment, along with a large amount of chemicals. A laptop and documents were seized as part of the investigation.

"A forensic investigation is being carried out to ascertain whether or not the suspect objects were in fact explosives as well as to identify the possible uses of chemicals that were found," a statement from the BKA read.

"According to early assessments, there was no acute danger to the public," the statement added.

Investigators said it was unclear as to whether the intention had been to use the explosives at Dortmund's next home game on Saturday. Dortmund, currently leading Germany's top football division the Bundesliga, are due to play third-placed Hanover with a capacity crowd of 80,000 fans.

Author: Richard Connor (AFP, AP, dpa, SID)

Editor: Susan Houlton

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