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Update: Ansbach Bomber ‘Pledged Allegiance To ISIL’

A Syrian man who detonated explosives outside a music festival in the German city of Ansbach, killing only himself and wounding at least 15 people, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant group before the attack, according to a senior government official.

 

The 27-year-old suspect, who was a refugee, blew himself up late on Sunday after being denied entry to the event.

 

Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria, said on Monday that video footage discovered on the suspect’s mobile phone showing him pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared leader of ISIL, also known as ISIS, makes it clear the incident was a “terrorist attack”.

 

He said the man, who has not been named, also “announced an act of revenge against Germans because they were standing in the way of Islam”.

 

Moments later, ISIL claimed responsibility for the bombing on its Amaq website, saying that the attacker was one of its “soldiers”.

 

Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane, reporting from Berlin, said: “He [the suspect] came to Germany two years ago and his asylum application was rejected last year for reasons that we don’t know right at this minute.

 

“He had been based in Germany with the knowledge that he was not going to receive permanent asylum in this country. He had twice before tried to take his life and, at some point in the recent past, he had been receiving psychiatric help.”

 

German police also said on Monday that they had found enough materials to make another bomb at the suspect’s home, and several violent videos. Germany will boost its police presence at airports and train stations and carry out stop-and-search operations close to border areas, Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s interior minister, said in Berlin on Monday after four violent attacks in less than a week.

 

“What seems particularly important to me at the moment is an increased police presence in public spaces.

 

“I have therefore ordered that the federal police visibly increase their presence at airports and railways stations and that there are random checks, which are not visible but very effective, in border areas.”

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