Jonathon Shafi: What really happened in the Dortmund bus explosion? Here are the theories

CommonSpace columnist Jonathon Shafi explains why blame may well lie where people didn't first expect

LAST Tuesday, explosives were used to attack the players' coach of Borrusia Dortmund football club. The Spanish footballer Marc Bartra was injured and taken to hospital, and, of course, the team's Champions League tie with Monaco was postponed.

Immediately, two things happened. Firstly, the mass media set up rolling updates on the situation and departed from the news cycle to bring live updates from the scene. Secondly, the far-right took to social media to pin the blame on all muslims and whip up their usual narrative: that Europe is at war with Islam. 

The big figures of the far-right couldn't wait to get stuck in, and neither could their toxic online network of white nationalist and fascist trolls. Such attacks provide a semi-permanent social base to feed on, derived from using them as propaganda events to build the discourse of the far-right. 

Isis and the far-right work hand in glove when it comes to propaganda and the outcome of terrorist attacks.

In fact, Isis and the far-right work hand in glove when it comes to propaganda and the outcome of terrorist attacks:

- Isis aims to alienate muslims from the society by encouraging division - so does the far right.

- Isis wants to generate a physical backlash against muslims to provoke conflict - so does the far right.

- Isis wants to cause the state to become more repressive on the muslim community - so does the far right.

The aims and objectives of both are reflections of one another, and terrorist attacks are the crystallisation of the point at which both agendas can move into gear. We need to be able to counter this and undermine it by developing solidarity, but also through education. 

The aims and objectives of both are reflections of one another, and terrorist attacks are the crystallisation of the point at which both agendas can move into gear.

For example, we need to show that Isis has killed many more muslims than anyone else, and that muslims are on the front lines fighting back. That's something which disrupts the attempts of the far-right and others to demonise muslims.

Remember, too, that the attack on muslims is part of a broader strategy. The fascists see muslims as the weak link. Seen as a soft target to exploit, terror attacks are a gateway to their ideology of supremacy, anti-semitism, authoritarianism, conspiracy theory and, in the end, the white nation.

This has been true for many years, but is at fever pitch now as their ability to capitalise on events generates recruitment to pre-existing online networks, which on the one hand suck people in and on the other expose them to their general theory of racial supremacy. In the eventual analysis, they further their fomenting of civil unrest on the basis of racism.

But back to Dortmund. The bombs went off, the game was stopped and the scene was set. Ordinary football fans stood together. Dortmund supporters via the club's official Twitter account offered places for Monaco fans to stay: their own homes. Hours later, German police revealed that the bombs were serious explosives. All rumours that these were fire-crackers were extinguished. This was an attack - deployed by people with a knowledge of explosive devices.

The first clue to the attacker came in the form of thee identical letters found near the scene that purported to be from an 'Islamist.' This sent the fascist troll army into overdrive. The media spiked, too. In fact, if you Google 'Borussia Dortmund bomb' you will be hit with article after article referring to this. The headlines read: 

- Two alleged Islamic extremists focus of bomb investigation

- One Islamist suspect detained after police search homes

The one person who was arrested was cleared of links to the attack. All of this in combination had led German investigators to believe that the most likely culprits of the attack are the far-right. 

- 'Terrorist link' examined after triple blasts hit Dortmund bus

- Letter claiming responsibility 'refers to Berlin market attack'

That wasn't the end, however - and it was to become less attractive to the far-right and those sections of the media who cover every attack in that awful Hollywood manner, because that wasn't the end of the story. What came next was confusion - enough confusion to at least dilute the idea that this was definitely the work of something Isis related. 

It actually came in the form of an anti-fascist post on a blog claiming responsibility. The blog post has since been removed. The author of the post explained the reasons for the alleged attack: that it was a show of force against the club because it is not doing enough to fight fascism in the club nor the detestable attitude within the stadium.

This seemed less likely than 'Islamist terror', and so the stories continued in that vein until the following week when it took yet another turn. This time the press attention was palpably less, and the fascist Twitter trolls went deadly silent. 

'Prosecutors are investigating whether rightwing extremists may have bombed a football team bus in Germany and then attempted to frame Islamists,' read the headline of the Independent.

It appears that investigators have prioritised the possibility of this being carried out by far-right fanatics in hopes of generating backlash and conflict. 

Indeed, an email claiming responsibility included references to Adolf Hitler, railed against multiculturalism and said the bombing was the "last warning" before "coloured blood will flow" on 22 April, the date of huge leftwing demonstrations planned at the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) convention in Cologne.

For those who know about football supporters, Dortmund fans have been vocal in their support for welcoming refugees into Germany. This has further aroused suspicions about the origins of the attack. in addition, the letters left at the scene meant to implicate Isis did not follow the pattern of other similar messages. 

The one person who was arrested was cleared of links to the attack. All of this in combination had led German investigators to believe that the most likely culprits of the attack are the far-right

We don't know who carried out the attack for sure, but we do know that this particular event has not been covered anything like it would have been if it was a clear cut Isis-related attack. We also know that it has not been used as a recruiting tool for the far-right online since the revelations - though they still made hay from it in the initial hours and days. 

Lastly, it appears that investigators have prioritised the possibility of this being carried out by far-right fanatics in hopes of generating backlash and conflict. 

And doesn't that vividly show how reliant the far-right and the likes of Isis are on one another? It's time that relationship was exposed for all to see. 

Picture courtesy of Jonathon Shafi

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Comments

rosspriory

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 17:35

"Its the economy , stupid"

Dear SNP, to fight the battles ahead can I please have an Industrial Policy, a Fiscal policy, a Monetary policy with a non GERS statement of accounts. Then and only then will we win the war.

Its the Economy Stupid

FindoGask

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 14:15

Police in Germany have charged a man suspected of being behind an attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus.
Rather than having links to radical Islamism, he was a market trader hoping to make money if the price of shares in the team fell, prosecutors say.
The 28-year-old, identified only as Sergej W, was staying in the team's hotel in a room overlooking the street where the explosion took place BBC NEWS

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