Police in Berlin, Germany thwarted an attempted bombing of the Russian Embassy during a pro-LGBTQ rights demonstration.
The rally took place on April 8, and was in response to the poor treatment of the LGBTQ community in Chechnya, as news has come out of prison camps where gay and bisexual men are held against their will, interrogated, and tortured.
A 24-year-old Moroccan man planned to mix in with the pro-LGBTQ rights demonstrators and set a bomb off in front of the Russian Embassy, GGG.at reports.
The man, said to have come to Germany in 2015, living as an asylum seeker for a year until his petition was rejected. He had reportedly since been living in an asylum seeker’s home near Leipzig. Police are looking into the motive behind the planned attack, with one possibility being upset over Russia’s support of Syrian Bashar al-Assad. It is not believed that he was motivated by any anti-LGBTQ animosity.
“At this time there are no indications that a possible attack was intended to be directed against the demonstration,” said Lorenz Haase, chief prosecutor at the state of Saxony’s Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The man is said to have boasted of his plans on several social media sites, under various names, allowing authorities to track him down.
The demonstration, “Enough is Enough – Open Your Eyes,” went on after organizers were made aware of the foiled bomb plot, with a strong police presence throughout the event. Officers checked bags, and enforced rules on face coverings, Gay Star News reports.
“If we, as society, buckle before terror and fearmongering, then we have already lost,” an organizers said. “If we, out of fear over this information, would have cancelled the demonstration, then fear would have won.”