Following an explosion in a backyard in Berlin’s Schöneberg district, police have arrested two men. A pipe bomb allegedly detonated directly in front of a residential building on the street Eisackstraße at around 8.30 pm on Thursday evening. Residents called the police. Investigators searched the yard and found a second explosive device that had not exploded.
According to the police, police officers were able to arrest a 29-year-old suspect after a short investigation when he tried to escape from the apartment building. Since the door to a flat was locked and the officers assumed that a second suspect was hiding there, a special task force was called in.Special forces police officers are said to have then stormed the flat and overpowered a 27-year-old man. “For the safety of the residents, the neighbouring houses were evacuated for about an hour,” a police spokesperson explained. They were temporarily accommodated in busses provided by the Berlin public transport company (BVG). Forensic technicians confiscated the remains of the explosion, the second explosive device and chemicals found in the suspects’ flat in the courtyard.Both suspects were handed over to the specialised department for bomb-related offences at the State Criminal Police Office. According to the newspaper Berliner Zeitung, the two men are Gregor D. and Claudio C. From police circles it was said that they had good contacts in the left-wing scene. According to his own statements, C. studied political science at the Free University of Berlin. Among other things, he was involved in an association against right-wing extremism financed by the Berlin Senate. He also heads a media education project against anti-Muslim racism. Investigators are now puzzling over what the two men intended to do with the explosive devices.According to the police spokesperson, investigators are looking into a connection to other crimes committed with such explosives in the area. Just on January 20, 2021, a similar explosive device had exploded on a construction site sign in the street Fritz-Reuter-Straße in Schöneberg. Pieces of debris were blown around, damaging several window panes and cars. Around 50 residents had to leave their homes in the middle of the night.