Two suspects were arrested for an explosive attack on a left-wing office in Oberhausen in 2022. They are said to be far-right.

The closed office of the left party in Oberhausen.

Closed: Left his position in Oberhausen after the July 2022 attack Photo: Gerd Wallhorn/imago

More than a year and a half after the bomb attack at the headquarters of the Left Party in Oberhausen and despite the fact that the investigation has been suspended in the meantime, two suspects have been arrested. The two people who were arrested on Tuesday, according to a report from WAZ According to Wednesday, they were right-wing extremists in Oberhausen.

They have been detained since Tuesday. The two people could also have connections to the “Reichsbürger scene.” However, the responsible public prosecutor's office in Duisburg did not confirm this information when asked on Thursday. The Duisburg public prosecutor's office and the Essen state security agency would have stopped their investigations in the summer of 2023, reports WAZ.

The attack on the “Left Centre”, the left office in Oberhausen on July 5, 2022, made headlines across the country. The “Center Left” was completely destroyed by the force of the detonation. No one was injured in the overnight attack. “The windows were destroyed all the way to the shops in front,” party leader Janine Wissler wrote at the time in a statement on the federal party's website.

The travel agency located opposite and a hair salon were also damaged by the detonation. Fortunately, no one was injured. According to the party, in the past there had been repeated attacks with stickers and threatening letters from the neo-Nazi spectrum against the party and its premises.

Far-right motive

Wissler further explained at the time that the bomb attack was a “completely new dimension of attacks on our offices, where human lives are put at risk.” For many on the left it soon became clear: the attack must have had a far-right undertone, it must have been “motivated by the right”, as heard at the solidarity actions and demonstrations in Oberhausen shortly after the attack.

Yusuf Karacelik, president of the parliamentary group “Die Linke.Liste Oberhausen”, explained a year and a half ago: “We are assuming a selective attack from the right. Of course, we continue with our commitment to a diverse society, based on solidarity and against all forms of racism, discrimination and exclusion.”

However, for a long time the masterminds could not be identified either by the state security agency, which is always called in and has to investigate these cases, or by the state criminal police in Düsseldorf. The investigation dragged on; clarification was still far away.

A year after the attack, in the summer of 2023, the Duisburg public prosecutor's office announced that it had stopped the investigation. Not only the Oberhausen left, but also other district associations in the area criticized the completion of the investigation at the time. Now the police are said to have made a breakthrough. High WAZ The case is about to be resolved.

The suspects finally identified

Last Tuesday, police searched an apartment just a few hundred meters from the crime scene on Elsässer Straße in the center of the Ruhr city. The search is said to have lasted more than ten hours. Hundreds of external forces were also deployed to provide support.

“We consider ourselves confirmed, because we always assumed that the attack was motivated by right-wing extremism,” Yusuf Karacelik said in an interview with taz on Thursday. He welcomed the fact that the suspects had finally been identified after the investigation had already been interrupted, “which we always criticize.”

If the suspicion is confirmed and charges are filed, the left wants to examine civil lawsuits against the two alleged perpetrators. “We suffered a lot of damage,” Karacelik said.

The party has now moved to a new office. The well-known “Paroli Treff” is still located on the opposite side of Elsässer Straße, a few steps from the old town. The Oberhausen Left Center serves as a contact point for the district association, the municipal group and the left-wing youth. The citizens' office of Kathrin Vogler, member of the Bundestag, is also located here.