Ikea stores in Kiel and Dresden have been targeted as part of a series of firework attacks.

Valentina Park
  • 16 june 2011

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This article titled “Ikea bomber: German police investigate latest cases” was written by Helen Pidd in Berlin, for The Guardian on Thursday 16th June 2011 12.30 UTC

German police are investigating a series of firework attacks targeting Ikea stores in Kiel and Dresden in the past week, following similar incidents in branches of the Swedish furniture company in France, Belgium and Holland last month.

On Wednesday evening the Ikea in Kiel, northern Germany, was evacuated after store workers discovered a suspicious “mobile device”. No one was hurt and no bomb was found, said an Ikea spokeswoman in Sweden. “Security has been increased in all stores,” she said.

On Friday a device exploded in the kitchen section of an Ikea in Dresden, eastern Germany, injuring two workers. “They complained of ear pain afterwards but were not seriously hurt,” said the spokeswoman.

German police issued a photofit of the Dresden suspect , who was wearing a beige baseball cap and “striking” purple glasses.

On 30 May there were three small explosions at Ikea branches in Eindhoven in Holland, Lomme in northern France and Belgian Gent. No one was hurt and the damage was minimal. The devices recovered were “more like fireworks than bombs”, said the Swedish spokeswoman.

She refused to give any information on who might be responsible while the police investigation was under way.

On Thursday detectives in Saxony said the Dresden store had received a series of emails claiming responsibility for the attack. A spokeswoman for the Saxon Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA) said: “We are urgently investigating who or what is behind [the attacks].” It was not clear whether the author of the emails was the real perpetrator or a copycat, she said.

Police are hoping the case will be featured on Germany’s version of Crimewatch, a show called Aktenzeichen XY…ungelöst (File Number XY… unsolved), the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday.

According to the German news agency DPA the emails were sent to the Dresden LKA as well as to Ikea.

In May 2009 seven people were arrested in Holland over an alleged plot to bomb Dutch Ikea stores after an anonymous tip that Islamists had planted devices. The Amsterdam Ikea was closed for a day but no devices were found and the tipster turned out to be someone with a private gripe against the suspects.

In 2002 explosives were planted at several Dutch stores as part of a blackmail attempt and two police officers were injured when one exploded. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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