[quote]The failure of two suitcase bombs to explode on separate German trains this week most likely prevented Germany from joining the ranks of London and Madrid on the list horrific commuter bombings. The first bomb was discovered on Monday on a 120-passenger regional train that ran between Aachen and Hamm, cities located in the north-western German state of North Rhineland-Westphalia. A conductor discovered a suitcase in an empty passenger section at the Hamm end of the run and sent it to the Dortmund train station because there was no lost and found office in Hamm. In Dortmund, railway employees opened the suitcase to try and establish the identity of the owner. To their horror, what they discovered instead was a full, 11-kilogramm butane gas tank, an alarm clock, batteries, cables and a 4.5 liter bottle filled with a gas mixture. They immediately summoned the police and fire department who emptied the train station of passengers and sealed it off until explosive experts could defuse the bomb. The second explosive, packed in a similar-looking suitcase, was also discovered in a regional train, but on Sunday and on one that ran between Moenchengladbach and Koblenz. This lethal package was only opened on Tuesday in the Koblenz train station. Its contents were similar to those found in the Dortmund suitcase.
The German federal office responsible for investigating the suitcase bombs says both deadly devices were professionally built. Investigators believe the bombs are either part of a criminal extortion plot directed at the German railway system or an attempted terrorist attack. Since no ransom demand has been received, the 100 security officials assigned to the case are investigating the two incidents from the terrorism angle. [/quote]