Weiterstadt prison bombing

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JVA Weiterstadt prison building, pictured 2010

On 27 March 1993, the Red Army Faction (RAF) bombed and destroyed a newly-built prison in Weiterstadt, near Frankfurt am Main in Germany. It was the RAF's last major action before it dissolved.[1]

At least three armed and masked men and a woman climbed a high wall and entered the guardhouse around 1 am. The terrorists tied the 10 guards and locked them in a van near a landfill. They then brought in five cargoes with 200 kg of explosives. At 5:12 am, the explosives were detonated.[2]

The Weiterstadt prison took eight years to build and cost 250 million Marks ($155 million). It was designed to be multi-use and high-tech. The blast managed to destroy the administration building and much of its security system.[3] At the time the prison was not holding inmates yet - they were expected by May. Over $90 million in damages was caused.[4]

The prison had to be rebuilt, which took another four years when it opened and received inmates in May 1997.[5]

Fourteen years later in 2007, using DNA analysis, detectives identified three perpetrators - Burkhard Garweg, Ernst-Volker Wilhelm Staub and Daniela Klette. Klette had already been wanted over the American embassy sniper attack in 1991. However all the three suspects are at large.[2][6]


  1. ^ Von Wolfgang Degen (2018-03-28). "In der Nacht zum 27. März 1993 machten Linksterroristen aus einem Vorzeigeprojekt der hessischen Justiz ein Trümmerfeld". de: Echo-online.de. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  2. ^ a b (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Germany's RAF Prison Bombers Identified 14 Years Later - DW - 25.10.2007". DW.COM.
  3. ^ "German Prison Destroyed - Prison Legal News". www.prisonlegalnews.org.
  4. ^ MacPhee, Josh (9 November 2010). "Celebrate People's History!: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution". The Feminist Press at CUNY – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Untersuchungsgefängnis Weiterstadt eröffnet". archiv.rhein-zeitung.de.
  6. ^ "Dutch police say surviving Red Army Faction members still active".