Police Doubt Leftist Group Set Off Bomb in Frankfurt

Associated Press

Police said Thursday they doubt that a leftist terrorist group is responsible for the bomb explosion at Frankfurt airport, and they continued searching for a young man who sped off in a blue Mercedes-Benz.

Wednesday’s blast in a busy airport departure hall killed three people--two of them children--and injured 42 others, including one American.

Police said two of half a dozen callers claiming responsibility for the bombing identified themselves as members of the Red Army Faction, an extreme-left West German group.

“But that happened (the explosion) in a manner that is not typical for this group,” Reinhard Rochus, a spokesman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office, said.


Suspect Sought

Rochus said investigators are searching for a young man who fled the scene and sped off in the blue Mercedes sedan shortly before the bomb went off.

A picture of the bombing site, taken by an amateur West German photographer, was distributed by police. It shows two back-to-back rows of seats and 17 relaxed passengers. Police said one of the men standing in the picture is believed to be the 32-year-old Portuguese man killed in the blast, while the two young children also killed in the explosion are believed to be among four children visible.

Rochus and Frankfurt Police Chief Stefan Wolfermann said the picture was taken 10 to 15 minutes before the attack Wednesday afternoon. They said they hoped its publication will help them find witnesses to the attack.


“We can’t see any motive or any target,” Rochus told reporters. He declined to link the attack to any group of the political left or right and said that in spite of at least 60 tips from people who volunteered information and crank calls, “there is absolutely no clear motive or target for the attack.”

American in Hospital

Among the injured still in local hospitals are the unidentified American, one Australian, one Moroccan, one Yugoslav, one Greek, two Portuguese, five Pakistanis, and 13 Germans. The nationality of one more hospitalized person was not immediately available, Rochus said.

He declined to identify the victims of the attack because “not all the families of those killed or injured have been notified.”