Report: Suicide bomber tried to enter France-Germany match, turned away by security
At least one suicide bomber was carrying a ticket to the France-Germany international friendly and attempted to enter the Stade de France on Friday, with plans to detonate an explosive vest inside the grounds, according to a France security guard and French police.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the attacker was stopped at the gate when his vest was discovered. The attacker apparently attempted to enter the grounds 15 minutes after the game started, with the intention of causing maximum panic and destruction, but a security frisking team repelled him at the gate. The attacker was then reported to have detonated the vest while attempting to flee the security team.
Police confirmed this version of events to both news outlets.
Three explosions were clearly heard inside the stadium during the game, but the scale of the attack was not relayed to the teams or fans inside the ground in order to avoid causing a panic. Another bomber detonated his vest outside the stadium. And a third device was detonated at a nearby McDonald’s.
ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, claimed responsibility for the attacks Friday in Paris. At least 127 people were killed in coordinated attacks across France’s capital. Among those killed during a series of attacks across the French capital on Friday night was a cousin of footballer Lassana Diarra, who was playing for France against Germany in the city at the time of the incidents.
More than 300 people were also wounded in the attacks, which were the second in Paris this year after 12 people were killed by gunmen in January and raise serious concerns about fans’ safety at Euro 2016, which is being held in France next summer.
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet told L’Equipe: ”For the Euros, there was already a big worry. Today it’s obviously even stronger.”
The German football federation (DFB) said the team landed in Frankfurt on Saturday morning after spending Friday night at the Stade de France stadium because of the terror attacks. The World Cup winners had been due to return to their hotel after the friendly against France but stayed inside the stadium after two explosions went off outside during the game. The news was originally reported by the BBC’s Dan Roan, in a tweet that was subsequently removed. It is not clear whether or not Roan removed the tweet on the advice of stadium security.
Germany are due to play the Netherlands in Hannover on Tuesday but have delayed the journey. All team activities scheduled for Sunday have been cancelled. DFB vice-president Reinhard Rauball said a decision on the game will be made later, "but I think you can’t give way to terror."
"We’re happy we could organize the departure. Everything else will be decided later," DFB security chief Hendrik Grosse Lefert said. Team manager Oliver Bierhoff said the squad’s "thoughts are with the victims and their families."
Following Friday’s atrocities, France declared a national state of emergency and closed its borders, with numerous sporting events scheduled to take place in the country this weekend subsequently cancelled.