Police foil explosives-carrying man trying to enter the US embassy in Vienna

2nd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 October 2007, Vienna (dpa) - Austrian police appeared Monday to have foiled a bomb attack on the US embassy in Vienna when they arrested a man after he tried to enter the embassy with a backpack filled with explosives and nails. The suspect, a 42-year-old man with Bosnian background living outside Vienna, attempted to gain access to the embassy in Bolzmanngasse in Vienna's 9th district, Austrian police said. But already at the entrance metal detectors went off. Monitors of the embassy's security system h

2 October 2007

Vienna (dpa) - Austrian police appeared Monday to have foiled a bomb attack on the US embassy in Vienna when they arrested a man after he tried to enter the embassy with a backpack filled with explosives and nails.

The suspect, a 42-year-old man with Bosnian background living outside Vienna, attempted to gain access to the embassy in Bolzmanngasse in Vienna's 9th district, Austrian police said.

But already at the entrance metal detectors went off. Monitors of the embassy's security system had shown that the man's backpack possibly contained explosives, the US embassy said in a statement.

When the man ran away embassy security personnel called police. The suspect was pursued by police officers on duty protecting the embassy.

The suspect dropped the nylon backpack filled with two hand grenades and nails, in a nearby street in the course of the pursuit, police spokeswoman Doris Edelbacher, of the anti-terrorism unit said.

Police were still investigating the grade of effectiveness of the home made bomb and if it could have been detonated by the suspect.

If detonated in the presence of people the effects could have been serious, police said. "In case of an explosion, the bomb would have had a massive spreading effect," Edelbacher said. While potentially very harmful to bystanders, the bomb had enough yield to blow up the building, police stressed.

The man was arrested shortly afterwards. Police explosives experts dealt with the bag and are conducting further investigations. The area around the site was sealed off for several hours.

A book with allegedly Islamic content was also found on the man, but further details were not immediately known.

The man, who spoke only broken German, was interviewed by police. According to initial information he seemed confused and made contradictory statements about his intentions.

Less than two weeks ago, three second-generation immigrants of Muslim background were arrested in Austria in connection with an Islamist threat video, warning Austria and Germany to withdraw forces from Afghanistan.

In the course of the investigation a list of Austrian politicians as potential targets of terrorist attacks also surfaced.

IIDZ, an Austrian Muslim organizaion, sharply criticized the attempted bombing, the Austrian press agency said.

IIDZ general secretary Guenter Ahmed Rusznak said the organization rejected any Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism. All suspicious behavour must be reported to the authorities, he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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