Motive Remains a Mystery in German Bus Hijacking Drama

Days after an Israeli of Russian origin hijacked a tourist bus in Cologne and killed two people, German police still are unable to provide the motive behind the bizarre hostage drama that lasted seven hours.

Police officials expressed shock at the cold-blooded murders carried out by Leon Bor, 31, a former resident of Ramat Gan, Israel, last Friday.

They described Bor as a “sadist” who enjoyed “killing for the sake of killing.”

Bor, born Leonid Borshevsky, hijacked the bus, which was carrying 24 tourists, 10 minutes after it left the tourist information center near the Cologne Cathedral.

He immediately shot the driver. With the tour guide serving as a human shield, Bor changed into a green uniform, a ski mask and fake dynamite belt that looked real enough to convince police that they are dealing with a professional terrorist.

An eyewitness summoned the police. But when the first police unit arrived at the scene, Bor opened fire, severely wounding a police officer.

Speaking with police over a phone on the bus, Bor described himself as a member of the Russian mafia. he spoke with police negotiators in Russian, and in broken German and English.

Five hostages managed to escape from the bus during the ensuing seven-hour ordeal.

Late in the drama, Bor walked down the aisle of the bus and asked the blindfolded and bound passengers their nationality.

When a 64-year-old woman said she was German, Bor shot and killed her, then took a Polaroid picture of the body.

Bor then had a passenger take a picture of him in his combat uniform.

Shortly after Bor killed the woman, a police commando unit stormed the bus. A sniper killed Bor with one shot.

Police later found in his bag a parachute and an electronic navigation instrument, which raised speculation that Bor may have intended to take over an airplane at a large stage of hijack drama.

Despite the circumstances surrounding the killing of the German woman, German police refused to say the murder was racially motivated.

Israeli police officials said they had little knowledge about Bor, who they said had no criminal record in Israel.

In 1989, Bor immigrated to Israel from Russia, and in 1993 he reportedly left Israel for the United States. His reasons for arriving in Germany were unknown.

Israeli diplomatic officials in Cologne said Bor would be buried at a Jewish cemetery in Cologne unless a relative request that his body be flown to Israel. But they added, Bor apparently had no relatives living in Israel.

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