Posts Tagged ‘explosive package’

German police check more German police after Potsdam explosive package

December 4, 2017


BERLIN (Reuters) – German police on Monday investigated further suspicious mail packages found around the country as they tried to catch an extortionist who sent a defective parcel bomb to a pharmacy in the city of Potsdam last week.

That package, which contained powerful firecrackers, wires and nails and did not explode, was found to be a criminal extortion attempt against logistics firm DHL rather than “terrorism,” German authorities said on Sunday.

DHL, owned by Deutsche Post, warned its clients on Monday that other suspect packages could arrive through its service among millions of parcels sent in the holiday season.

The company said it would not change its postal secrecy principle to control the content of packages.

More suspicious packages were reported to authorities around Germany – one, which German media suspected contained a grenade, was sent to the state chancellery in the eastern region of Thuringia but police found only rolled-up catalogues inside it.

Police in the eastern state of Brandenburg, where Potsdam is located, said they checked 10 suspicious packages on Monday but gave the all-clear for all of those parcels.

The police said a special team investigating the Potsdam pharmacy package was doubled to over 50 officials and they were searching for the extortionist.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Mark Heinrich


Extortion, not terrorism behind Potsdam explosive package

A suspicious package with wires and nails that was delivered to an address near a Christmas market in the German city of Potsdam on Friday was “an act of extortion” rather than “terrorism,” according to Reuters, citing local authorities. The package had been used as an attempt to extort money from the DHL company, which delivered it, the interior minister of the state of Brandenburg, Karl-Heinz Schroeter, told a news conference Sunday. A barcode inside the package contained the extortion letter, Brandenburg police chief Hans-Juergen Moerke said, with the senders having threatened to dispatch more dangerous packages if DHL refused to pay them. Police are now searching for those who sent it, adding that it was highly likely that the package could have exploded. The logistics company has warned its clients not to open packages originating from unknown or suspicious addresses.


Greek militants claim parcel bomb sent to German ministry

March 16, 2017


© dpa/AFP | German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was extremely unpopular in Greece during the country’s crippling debt crisis

ATHENS (AFP) – A Greek far-left group on Thursday claimed it sent a parcel bomb to the German finance ministry, over six years after waging a similar campaign against European officials.

“We claim responsibility for sending a booby-trapped parcel to the German finance minister,” the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei group said in a statement posted on an anti-establishment website.

German police on Wednesday said they had discovered the “explosive” package at Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s office building, a day before he was due to host his new US counterpart Steven Mnuchin.

“The package contained an explosive mix,” Berlin police said in a statement, adding that the substance is often used in the production of fireworks.

“It was designed to cause severe injuries when the package is opened,” they said.

The parcel was intercepted in the ministry mailroom.

Greece’s interior ministry said the authorities in both countries were working together on the case.

A Greek police source said the package had a Greek stamp.

The “sender” was given as a deputy leader of the opposition New Democracy party — along with his real address.

Greek authorities are examining how the package was able to leave the country containing the explosive material.

Schaeuble became extremely unpopular in Greece during the country’s crippling debt crisis as he was seen as unyielding in imposing austerity on Athens in exchange for financial aid.

Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, listed as a terrorist organisation by the United States, in 2010 sent letter bombs to foreign embassies in Greece and to three European leaders — then European Commission chairman Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and then Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

One of the letter bombs, which contained gunpowder, ignited and lightly injured a courier company employee in Athens at the time, but most were intercepted by police.

Police in 2011 carried out several arrests and said they had dismantled the group.

Nevertheless, others have kept the outfit’s name alive and in October, they claimed responsibility for a bomb that exploded outside the home of a prosecutor.

Nobody was hurt.

“For every comrade in prison, new comrades are ready to replace him,” the Conspiracy of Fire statement said.