No extra security at Ajax vs Schalke 04 match after attack on Borussia Dortmund
At this stage Ajax sees no reason to take any extra security measures at the Europa League match between the Amsterdam club and Schalke 04 on Thursday, following a targeted attack on Borussia Dortmund in Germany last night, a spokesperson for the club said to AD. "Because the threat level is currently no different than the last few months", he said.
The Borussia Dortmund players were on their way to their Europa League Match against AS Mondaco in the Signal Iduna Stadium in Dortumund on Tuesday evening when their bus was hit by three explosions. The explosions broke the bus' back window. Player Marc Bartra was injured and had to receive surgery for a broken wrist. The local authorities initially assumed that a firework bomb was thrown at the bus, but investigation showed that it involved "serious explosives" that were planted along the bus' route, NU.nl reports. They exploded as the bus passed. The match was moved to Wednesday night.
The motive for the attack is currently unclear, the German authorities are still investigating. Two letters were discovered claiming the attack, NU.nl reports. The first was a physical letter found in the area of the explosions. The letter has an Islamic motif and refers to the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in December. It also talks about German contribution to the fight against ISIS in Syria. The police and various experts are investigating the origin of this letter, but are also taking into account that it may be a deliberate false trail. The second letter appeared on the internet on Tuesday. This one has anti-fascist characteristics. It states that the team's bus was attacked with homemade explosives as "a symbol of the BVB policy". According to the letter, the Borussia Dortmund team does not do enough against racism, Nazism and right-wing populism. Germany is no stranger to football hooliganism, which is another angle the authorities are considering.
"We don't yet know from what corner the attack came", the Ajax spokesperson said to AD. "But regardless of who is responsible, we find it terrible for everyone who was in the bus, their family and friends. And obviously also for the people who were in the stadium and can't be there tonight. But in terms of safety, we are keeping to the current guidelines."
Ajax did implement extra security measures when the terrorist threat level in the Netherlands was increased after attacks in Paris in November 2015. The still in force measures include more trained sniffer dogs patrolling in the Amsterdam ArenA during matches, more people being searched and visitors are obliged to show the content of their bags if asked to do so by security.
The Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security would not comment to AD on what happened in Dortmund. According to a spokesperson, it is too soon to do so and "we will not speculate". The Amsterdam police told the newspaper that they are keeping an eye on developments and that they can not comment on security at the Amsterdam ArenA.
Schalke is the arch-rival to Borussia Dortmund. A number of Schalke fans have been arrested in the Netherlands in the past for incidents, including a bachelor party that ended in something of a riot and a brawl with the Dutch police.