The attack, at a music festival in the Bavarian town of Ansbach, raises more questions about security at music events.
Update (8:15 am PT): A terrorist link has now been discovered, with a video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State found on the Syrian’s phone. At this stage, authorities are also taking a look at the individual’s activities in Syria before departure, as well as reasons for being denied asylum by German authorities.
A Syrian refugee and asylum seeker detonated a suicide bomb outside a music festival in the southern German city of Ansbach (pictured above) on Sunday evening, according to details confirmed by Bavarian authorities. The attack injured roughly 12 attendees, with 3 suffering grave injuries, according to early reports. The suicide bomber was killed in the attack.
The attack itself happened immediately outside the Ansbach Open music festival, shortly after 10 pm local time. Ansbach has a local population of 40,000 and holds a US military base.
During an early morning (Monday) press conference, Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann offered preliminary details. That includes the possibility that this wasn’t a typical suicide bombing, based on evidence of earlier suicide attempts by the individual. “Currently, we’re not sure if the attacker merely wanted to kill himself, or if he wanted to kill other people as well.” Hermann relayed.
A terrorist link has now been discovered, with a video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State found on the Syrian’s phone. At this stage, authorities are also taking a look at the individual’s activities in Syria before departure, as well as reasons for being denied asylum by German authorities.
Separately, a number of jihadist and Islamic extremist groups have praised the attack.
Bits of metal shrapnel were collected from around the detonation site. “Given the circumstances, we are fortunate that more people were not killed,” Herrmann stated.
A profile of the attacker is now coming to light. At press time, the individual has been confirmed as a 27 year-old asylum seeker from Syria. The individual was actually denied permanent asylum, but was cordoned off in an asylum camp pending further review.
On Sunday night, the individual was denied entry into the festival, which had roughly 2,500 in attendance. Shortly after that point, the bomb was detonated.
The development raises more concerns about security at music events worldwide. At the terrorist attacks at Le Bataclan in Paris last year, Islamic extremists easily overpowered guards with guns and explosive vests (or, were assisting the attack according to accusations by the lead singer of Eagles of Death Metal). At the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last month, a deranged assassin claiming Islamic extremist ties gunned down scores of attendees.
Even non-terrorist incidents are raising concerns, most notably a gun battle involving rapper Troy Ave at a T.I. performance at Irving Plaza in New York earlier this year.
More as Ansbach details emerge.
Image by Stiller Beobachter, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 (CC by 2.0).