Letters with razor blades, powder sent to Angela Merkel, other top German politicians | News | DW | 21.09.2017
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Letters with razor blades, powder sent to Angela Merkel, other top German politicians

Letters with white powder and razor blades have been sent to Chancellor Angela Merkel and other politicians days before Germany votes. Arabic typos raised doubts as to whether far-right activists sent the letters.

Police in Berlin are on the case after several threatening letters containing suspicious substances were sent to high-ranking German politicians, including the home of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, authorities said on Thursday.

Several anonymous letters, containing razor blades, white powder and a threatening text written in typo-laden Arabic, were sent to the private homes of several politicians. Police said the threatening missives were received on Wednesday and Thursday.

One of the letter recipients, Green party MP Hans-Christian Ströbele, posted a picture of the letter and its contents on Twitter. 

Another letter was addressed to Merkel's husband, Joachim Sauer, and delivered to their private home. The head of Merkel's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, Horst Seehofer also received letter, as did Green party top candidate Katrin Göring-Eckardt.

Social Democrat (SPD) Integration Minister Aydan Özoguz was also sent a letter as well as Left party parliamentarians Gesine Lötzsch and Gregor Gysi, according to media reports.

"If it is a threat, which is suspected, I am only concerned about where they got the private addresses of the politicians affected, including mine," Gysi told public broadcasters NDR and WDR.

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Powder 'posed no danger'

The typed letters warned that its contents were "deadly," but an initial analysis of the white substance indicated that it was harmless soda powder, police said.

"According to the findings so far, there was no danger for the recipients," an Interior Ministry spokesperson told German news agency DPA.

Questions over anonymous sender

The Arabic text in the letters mentioned a "German Salafist association," but the numerous spelling errors have cast doubts over who sent the threatening letters.

Experts who analyzed the letters say they were most likely written by someone who was not a native Arabic speaker.

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"There's a certain likelihood that despite the Arabic language used here that the radical right sent the message," Ströbele told NDR and WDR.

Left party lawmaker Lötsch also told the broadcasters that since the letters were sent just days before Germany's general election, "only shows that the sender wanted to gain more attention."

Berlin police said that Germany's domestic security agency was investigating the matter.

rs/sms (AFP, dpa)

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