German national rail operator Deutsche Bahn was hit with 12 seemingly coordinated arson attacks across the country between 01:00 and 04:30 (local time) on Monday, June 19. According to police, cable shafts were set on fire using homemade incendiary or explosive devices in the states of Berlin, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Saxony, causing major transportation delays. Responsibility for the attacks was claimed on a left-wing website by a group calling itself “Shutdown G20: take Hamburg offline!”
The attacks came four days after the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s internal security agency, announced it was preparing for potentially violent protests by as many as 10,000 left-wing extremists at the upcoming Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Hamburg July 7-8, raising fears of greater violence and potential attacks in the coming days and weeks in Hamburg and across the country. German media outlet Die Welt reported that the internal security agency has been tracking the activities of left-wing extremists for several months through a special program code-named "Störtebeker."
The 12th G20 summit will include leaders from the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Italy, India, Indonesia, France, China, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Argentina, and the European Union (EU).
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday, March 28, that left-wing protesters took responsibility for burning six police vehicles in the city of Hamburg in an attack that took place on March 27. An anonymous message left online suggests the attacks were intended to increase tensions in the city ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg.
Germany faced similar protests from extremists during the G20 summit in Heligendamm in 2007. Significantly more resources are expected to be deployed for this year’s summit.
Individuals are advised to avoid all protests, anticipate an increased security presence, and remain vigilant due to the possibility of violence. Report any suspicious objects or behavior to authorities.