A failed asylum-seeker from Syria blew himself up and wounded 12 people after being turned away from an open-air music festival in southern Germany in what officials said Monday may have been a suicide bombing. It was the fourth attack to shake Germany in a week — three of them carried out by recent immigrants.
The 27-year-old blew himself up at a bar shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, having been turned away from an open-air music festival in the southern town of Ansbach because he didn’t have a ticket.
Roman Fertinger, the deputy police chief in nearby Nueremberg, said it was likely there would have been more casualties if the man had managed to enter the concert venue.
Three of the 12 victims suffered serious injuries in the blast. The attacker’s rucksack had contained sharp bits of metal.
“My personal view is that I unfortunately think it’s very likely this really was an Islamist suicide attack,” Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told German news agency dpa.
Herrmann said the man’s request for asylum was rejected a year ago, but he was allowed to remain in Germany because of the strife in Syria.
The unnamed man had repeatedly received psychiatric treatment, including for attempted suicide, Herrmann said.
Police said the attacker had also been known for drug possession.
Authorities on Monday morning raided an asylum shelter in the suburbs of Ansbach.
A team of 30 investigators were interviewing the man’s acquaintances and examining evidence collected from his home.
Asked whether the bomber might have links to the Islamic State group, Herrmann said that couldn’t be ruled out, though there was no concrete evidence for this yet.
“The obvious intention to kill more people indicates an Islamist connection,” he told dpa.
Authorities said they were alerted to the explosion in Ansbach’s city’s center shortly after 10 p.m.
Police said the Syrian blew himself up in the outside seating area of a wine bar near the open-air concert.
They said in a statement that security staff noticed the man with the backpack near the entrance of the concert site around 9:45 p.m.
Police spokeswoman Elke Schoenwald said he was refused entry to the concert because he didn’t have a ticket. He then sat down on a chair outside the nearby restaurant. According to witness accounts he briefly leaned forward at 10:10 p.m. and then triggered the explosion.
The three-day open-air concert was underway, with about 2,500 in attendance. It was shut down as a precaution after the explosion.