- A nail bomb was discovered in Potsdam, Germany on Friday evening.
- It had been posted via delivery firm DHL in an extortion attempt.
- Police defused the device, but warned similar incidents could follow.
- The surge in post around Christmas makes the risks more intense.
Police are warning people to be suspicious of Christmastime packages after a nail bomb delivered to a pharmacy was diffused by police in Germany on Friday.
Officials in Brandenburg, Germany, highlighted the risk after delivery firm DHL was tricked into delivering a box stuffed with explosive powder, electronics, and nails to a town centre just outside of Berlin.
A Christmas market in Potsdam was evacuated on Friday after staff in a pharmacy opened a package to find the makeshift bomb.
Police were able to defuse the device without it going off, and nobody was injured. A report by European news site The Local suggested that the bomb malfunctioned.
- Getty Images
But the apparent ease with which criminals were able to get a bomb inside the postal system prompted authorities to warn that the Christmas season could provide cover for similar attempted attacks.
According to Germany’s DPA news agency, Brandenburg police chief Hans-Juergen Moerke told a news conference on Sunday that more bomb deliveries are “possible and perhaps even probable.”
He warned people to be wary of opening unexpected packages, especially those without a return address, those featuring illegible handwriting, and any boxes with stains or protruding wires, DPA said.
The Brandenburg Police Department also posted a tweet warning people to be careful:
Wer ein auffälliges Paket zugestellt bekommt, sollte die Polizei verständigen! Auf keinen Fall sollte ein solches Paket geöffnet werden! #0112pdm
— PolizeiBrandenburg_E (@PolizeiBB_E) December 3, 2017
In English, it translates to: “Anyone who receives a suspicious package should contact the police. Don’t under any circumstances open such a package.”
At the news conference on the incident, police described the incident as an attempt at criminal extortion, rather than a terror attack.
Officers, per DPA, said that the suspects issued a ransom note to DHL demanding millions of euros after making them aware that there were explosives in their postal system. The suspects are believed to be from Berlin.