Germans fear rise in left-wing terrorism after seven petrol bombs found in Berlin rail tunnel

Leftist group claims responsibility for the firebombs in online statement
Discovery comes after arson attacks on Berlin-Hamburg mainline
This year 600 luxury cars have been torched in Berlin by anarchists
German authorities braced for resurgence of Seventies-style leftist terrorism

By Allan Hall
Last updated at 12:21 PM on 11th October 2011

Germans are in fear of a return to the urban terror days of the Red Army Faction after leftists tried to blow up a railway station and derail high-speed express trains.

Explosives experts yesterday removed seven petrol bombs equipped with time detonators found by a railway worker in a tunnel leading into Berlin’s central station.

A left-wing group calling itself Hekla claimed responsibility for the firebombs in an online statement.

The group condemned the German army’s mission in Afghanistan and demanded the release of imprisoned US soldier Bradley Manning, who is accused of having leaked information to WikiLeaks.

The discovery followed an arson attack on signalling equipment along a line heading towards Hamburg which caused severe delays to the mainline service between the two cities.

The attacks have German politicians and police warning of a resurgence of the kind of left-wing terrorist that plagued West Germany 40 years ago.

Already this year 600 expensive cars have been torched in the city by anarchists.

Now the foiled bomb attacks indicate a ratcheting up of the campaign that, say police, will result in deaths unless they can be contained.

‘We are experience a Renaissance of the Red Army Faction. The leftist terror is on the rise,’ said Rainer Wendt, the chief of the German Police Union.

The Red Army Faction (RAF) – which grew out of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist clique – shot, bombed, kidnapped and terrorised West Germany in the Seventies.

The group targeted numerous establishment figures in their bid to overthrow the state.

While the old structures of the RAF have long atrophied, Wendt warned: ‘The new terrorist groups are decentralised, loosely affiliated with many individual small groups.’

This makes it harder to catch them when individuals know nothing of activists outside their own small cells, he added.

Fuelled by a hatred of banks, recruiting young people with no hope of a job, these new radicals are now under the observation of intelligence services in Germany as fears grow of escalating violence.

This year numerous police vehicles have been torched in Berlin and the neighbouring state of Brandenburg.

Günter Krings, a domestic security expert with the government, believes it is ‘premature’ to talk of a return to the carnage of the RAF. But he admitted: ‘We have to take these attacks very, very seriously. We cannot dismiss them as merely attacks against objects.

‘Attacks against things can suddenly change into attacks on human beings. The fire on the railway line obviously endangered peoples’ lives.’

Uwe Schünemann, the interior minister for the state of Lower Saxony, said; ‘The leftists are putting out propaganda on the internet detailing where the weak spots are in police body armour in order to wound officers. They are targeting police vehicles to set ablaze.

‘They even have tips on how to attack police officers. We are in the preliminary stages of a new wave of leftist terror.

‘I see parallels between the situation today and the start of the RAF. With them it started with fires and then later, people were being murdered. Therefore I say: resist the beginning.’

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution also warned in a report in July of the rise of leftist violence stating: ‘The attacks by left-wing extremists exhibit a significantly increased aggressiveness and willingness to take risks.’

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