Posts Tagged ‘Wuerzburg’

Syrian IS suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites

October 27, 2016

AFP

© dpa/AFP/File | Germany has been shaken by two assaults claimed by IS and carried out by asylum seekers

BERLIN (AFP) – German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Islamic State group.The man identified only as Shaas Al-M. allegedly joined the jihadist group in 2013 and took part in various military operations in Syria, they said in a statement.

Prosecutors declined to tell AFP when and how the suspect entered Germany last year, which in 2015 took in nearly 900,000 asylum seekers, around 40 percent of them from war-ravaged Syria.

Once he arrived, “he inspected potential attack targets during stays in Berlin and arranged to send at least one person to Syria as a fighter”.

“In addition, he served as a contact man for potential attackers in Germany and indicated he was prepared to carry out an attack in Germany,” they added.

The suspect was arrested in March after prosecutors in Potsdam near Berlin laid criminal conspiracy charges.

He stands accused of membership of a foreign terrorist organisation as well as military weapons law violations.

Germany has so far been spared large-scale jihadist attacks.

But Europe’s biggest economic power has been shaken by two assaults claimed by IS and carried out by asylum seekers — an axe rampage on a train in Wuerzburg that injured five, and a suicide bombing in Ansbach in which 15 people were hurt.

Police said this month they had foiled an alleged plot by a Syrian refugee to bomb one of Berlin’s airports.

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Germany: After four savage attacks by Muslims in one week, Germans are living with more anxiety, fear

July 26, 2016

  • After four terror attacks in just one week, Germans are today living in fear
  • Spared the fate of Paris, Brussels and Nice, Germans thought they were safe 
  • DANIEL JOHNSON on the after-effects which will be felt across Europe

No emotion is more potent in politics than fear. After four terror attacks in the space of just a week, Germans are today living in fear.

No end to the nightmare is in sight.

And the after-effects will be felt across Europe.

Bavaria has borne the brunt of this wave of violence, because it was the main entry-point for the million or more migrants who arrived last year.

Attack: Police restrain the Syrian refugee who hacked a pregnant woman to death

Attack: Police restrain the Syrian refugee who hacked a pregnant woman to death

Two of the terrorists were evidently Islamist fanatics. The other two may have had other motives, but all four were Muslims and two were from Syria.

Particularly disturbing was the latest attack by a Syrian suicide bomber, who failed to gain entry to a music festival, where he would have caused untold carnage.

He had been refused asylum yet still allowed to stay in Germany.

This suggests the German bureaucracy cannot cope, though yesterday officials rushed to insist he had been due for deportation to Bulgaria.

In any case, ordinary Germans have had enough of these attacks – the first serious terrorism they have faced since the far-Left Baader-Meinhof gang wrought havoc nearly four decades ago.

Having been spared the fate of Paris, Brussels and Nice, Germans thought themselves safe. Now they are in shock and increasingly angry.

It is reported that police are investigating over 400 cases of asylum-seekers with possible terrorist connections.

Even before these attacks, at least two thirds of Germans believed Chancellor Merkel’s ‘open door’ policy last year was a mistake.

Uncontrolled immigration and open borders are now their major concerns. German politicians who poured scorn on the British for voting to regain secure borders over Brexit have gone strangely silent.

Munich attack: The Munich shooter boasted ‘I am German’ as he mowed people down in a McDonald’s and a shopping centre

Munich attack: The Munich shooter boasted ‘I am German’ as he mowed people down in a McDonald’s and a shopping centre

Equally vexing is the problem of integrating the millions of migrants already in Germany. They have been treated with generosity, but patience is wearing thin.

The Afghan asylum-seeker who turned on passengers with an axe on a train last week had been living with a German foster family.

The Syrian who slaughtered a pregnant woman near Stuttgart with a machete had a job.

The Munich shooter boasted ‘I am German’ as he mowed people down in a McDonald’s and a shopping centre. His parents may have been Iranian but he had enjoyed the same privileges as other young Germans.

Having lived in and reported on Germany for a number of years, I have grown to love the country and its people.

Their efforts to set the world an example of democracy and tolerance, while never forgetting the Nazi past, are admirable.

Yet it was a misplaced desire to show the world this liberal face of modern Germany that led Angela Merkel to impose her disastrous migration policy on Europe, and to offer an open door to all refugees from Syria.

The result was one million people – most of them economic migrants, and not refugees from war-ravaged Syria at all – entering the country in 2015 alone with more still arriving.

The pressure all this is placing on ordinary Germans is becoming intolerable to them.

Most Germans are deeply patriotic, but understandably –given their country’s Nazi past – they abhor nationalism.

In many ways they prefer to see themselves as European rather than German. Yet Europe is now seen as a problem which facilitates the flow of migrants and potential terrorists.

Until now, Germany’s default position to any problem has always been ‘more Europe’ or closer integration. It is a position being trumped by the overriding need for security.

This need, an abiding aspect of the German psyche, reflects the fact that the wartime legacy of destruction and occupation runs very deep.

There is a reason why ‘angst’ is a German word, and it does not take much to bring such anxieties to the surface.

When hundreds of women were attacked in Cologne by gangs of migrants on New Year’s Eve, the public reaction was seismic.

The machete attack took place in the city of Reutlingen and came two days after the Munich shopping mall shooting

The machete attack took place in the city of Reutlingen and came two days after the Munich shopping mall shooting

What gave the backlash its vehemence was the folk memory of 1945, when up to two million German women were raped by the Red Army. (Stalin’s only comment on his Army’s barbaric behaviour was: ‘We lecture our soldiers too much.’)

Most victims never spoke about it, but the national trauma has never been forgotten.

Along with Germany’s desire to be seen as a liberal, multicultural country, this reminder of the past explains in part why the authorities seemed in denial over the attacks.

Cologne police force was accused of deliberately hushing up the scandal. Broadcasters were forced to apologise for failing to report it.

The fact is that post-war Germany, while presenting its liberal face to the world, has failed successfully to absorb the Turks and other Muslims who make up a high proportion of inner-city populations.

Despite a thriving economy and a generous welfare state, third-generation immigrants usually remain ‘foreigners’ in the eyes of their German neighbours. The refusal of many Muslims to adopt German values is exacerbated by a multicultural approach that even Mrs Merkel admits has been a disaster.

Officially, Germany remains wedded to the right of free movement enshrined in the EU treaties. In its most radical form, this right underlies the Schengen Agreement.

Comprising 22 of the EU’s member states, the borderless Schengen area is supposed to be the EU’s proudest achievement.

Since the migration crisis erupted last year, however, seven of these countries have reimposed some form of border controls.

Germany has strict checks on its border with Austria, for example, to control the influx of migrants from south-eastern Europe.

As fear of terrorism spreads across the Continent, such controls are being extended. Non-EU nationals entering the Schengen area are supposed to be checked thoroughly before being issued with a visa that entitles them to travel within it.

But the presence of thousands of potential terrorists already within the area makes it increasingly risky to allow uncontrolled movement across internal borders, even for EU citizens. Schengen was moribund even before Germany came under attack.

The European political elites remain so wedded to the principle of free movement they were willing to sacrifice British EU membership rather than compromise.

But in Germany, the most powerful country in Europe, that principle is increasingly unsustainable in the face of public opinion that demands border security at all costs.

On the BBC yesterday, German MEP Hans-Olaf Henkel criticised Mrs Merkel for irresponsibly encouraging refugees to come to Europe without regard for the consequences.

A polic officer in protective gear inspects a back pack used to carry an explosive device at the scene of a suicide attack in the southern German city of Ansbach

A polic officer in protective gear inspects a back pack used to carry an explosive device at the scene of a suicide attack in the southern German city of Ansbach

He even accused her of inadvertently helping the Brexit campaign, which claimed many refugees accepted by Germany might end up in London.

Many Germans now agree with this critique of Mrs Merkel, however proud they may be of her international stature.

She has survived for nearly 11 years –largely because, in the words of the poet and humorist Hilaire Belloc, modern Germans ‘always keep ahold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse’.

But they are now coming to terms with a new cautionary tale, this time about the risks of inviting strangers into your house.

Mrs Merkel’s guests have certainly made themselves at home in Germany – but long after ‘Mutti’ (or ‘Mummy’ – Merkel’s nickname) has moved on, her compatriots will be left wondering how many more just want to burn the house down.

Germans are not going to put up with living in fear. If such terror attacks continue, it seems increasingly likely that the country may abandon Schengen altogether.

Were that to happen, open borders would be a dead letter – as would the cherished principle of free movement.

Indeed, so powerful is this border anxiety in Germany today that it could bring the whole edifice of the European Union crashing down.

  • Daniel Johnson is the editor of Standpoint.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3707950/Four-savage-terror-attacks-Germans-sink-EU-DANIEL-JOHNSON-country-living-fear.html#ixzz4FVv7NYWR
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Afghan Refugee That Attacked Fellow Passengers With An Axe on a German Train Had an Islamic State Flag Where He Lived — Hong Kong family in the middle of “a slaughterhouse”

BBC News
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Germany axe attack: Assault on train in Wurzburg injures Hong Kong family
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Police stand by regional train on which man wielding axe attacked passengers in Wuerzburg, Germany, 18 July 2016
The attacker fled the train but was chased and shot dead by police. EPA photo

A teenage Afghan refugee armed with an axe and knife injured four people on a train in southern Germany before being shot dead by police, officials say.

Three people in a group from Hong Kong were seriously hurt and one slightly injured in the attack in Wurzburg. Another 14 were treated for shock.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the attacker was killed as he tried to flee the scene.

The motive for the attack is not yet clear.

The South China Morning Post said it was believed the four injured were a 62-year-old man, his 58-year-old wife, their daughter, 27, and her boyfriend, 31. The 17-year-old son travelling with them was not hurt, it said.

A source told the paper the father and boyfriend had tried to protect the other members of the group.

‘Exclamation’

Mr Herrmann said the attacker was a 17-year-old Afghan refugee who had been living in the nearby town of Ochsenfurt.

He told public broadcaster ARD that the teenager appeared to have travelled to Germany as an unaccompanied minor.

Bloodstains on the floor of the train carriage. 18 July 2016

Bloodstains could be seen on the floor of the train carriage. EPA photo

Mr Herrmann said authorities were looking into reports that the attacker had yelled out “an exclamation”. Some witnesses quoted by German media said they had heard him shout “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) during the attack.

‘Slaughterhouse’

The incident happened at about 21:15 (19:15 GMT) on the train which runs between Treuchlingen and Wurzburg.

“Shortly after arriving at Wurzburg, a man attacked passengers with an axe and a knife,” a police spokesman said.

Police said the attacker had fled the train but was chased by officers who shot him dead.

German emergency services in the area where a man with an axe attacked passengers on a train near the city of Wurzburg, Germany. July 19, 2016

Emergency services sealed off the area of the attack. Reuters

One local man told DPA news agency that the train carriage where the attack took place “looked like a slaughterhouse”.

He said he saw people crawl from the carriage and ask for a first-aid kit while other victims lay on the floor inside.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has condemned the attack. Immigration officials from the city will accompany family members to Germany.

Although the motive has not been established, the BBC’s Damien McGuinness in Berlin says there is nervousness in Germany about attacks by Islamist extremists following the attacks across the border in France.

In May, a man reportedly shouting “Allahu akbar” killed a man and wounded three others in a knife attack at a railway station near the German city of Munich.

He was later sent to a psychiatric hospital and authorities said they had found no links to Islamic extremism.

map showing Wurzburg location in central Germany

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36827725

Germans Question Wisdom of Angela Merkel’s Refugee Policy After A Week of Attacks in Germany

July 25, 2016

German Refugee Policy Under Fire After a Week of Bloodshed

Police investigators work at the site of a suicide bombing in Ansbach, southern Germany.
Police investigators work at the site of a suicide bombing in Ansbach, southern Germany. PHOTO: DANIEL KARMANN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

The Associated Press

Julay 25, 2015

BERLIN — Four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers — have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism.

Anxiety over Germany’s ability to cope with last year’s flood of more than 1 million registered asylum seekers first surged following a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne during New Year celebrations.

But in the last seven days, the violence has become even more deadly.

The unprecedented bloodshed began July 18, when a 17-year-old from Afghanistan wielding an ax attacked people on a train near Wuerzburg, wounding five people before he was shot to death by police. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

On Sunday, a 21-year-old Syrian used a machete to kill a 45-year-old Polish woman in the southern city of Reutlingen. Authorities said assailant and victim knew each other from working in the same restaurant, and the incident was not related to terrorism.

Also Sunday, a 27-year-old Syrian who was denied asylum detonated a backpack of explosives and shrapnel at the entrance to an outdoor music festival in Ansbach, killing himself and wounding 15 people. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, and German security officials said a video on the attacker’s phone shows him pledging allegiance to the extremists.

The deadliest attack came Friday night in Munich. The German-born, 18-year-old son of Iranian asylum seekers went on a shooting spree and killed nine people. The youth had obsessively researched mass shootings, and authorities said the attack does not appear to be linked to Islamic extremists.

© dpa/AFP / by Pauline Curtet with Deborah Cole in Berlin | Special police forces block the street near a refugee shelter where a Syrian migrant who set off an explosive device near an open-air music festival had stayed, on July 25, 2016 in Ansba

The violence followed an attack in the French Riviera by a Tunisian truck driver who plowed his vehicle into a Bastille Day crowd, killing 84 people in Nice.

Experts say the attacks are likely to inflame anti-foreigner sentiment in Germany, creating a challenge for Merkel’s government.

Merkel could now face increased calls for tighter border security and greater vetting of arrivals, even though the flow of migrants and asylum seekers has slowed drastically, said Florian Otto, an analyst with the risk consultants Verisk Maplecrof. The influx diminished after the European Union and Turkey agreed on a deal aimed at stopping people from reaching the continent by sea.

Although it’s too soon to say whether these attacks would threaten Merkel’s chances of staying in power after federal elections next year, “she will face more pressure and scrutiny for her immigration policies,” Otto said.

“The motives of the … attacks differ widely; they were not linked. But to some extent, that won’t matter in the public debate, which will be focused on the outcomes,” he said.

The sexual assaults in Cologne, which prosecutors said were committed largely by foreigners, fueled anti-immigrant sentiment and helped bolster support for the populist, anti-Islam AfD party in three regional elections.

Concern had lessened as border controls were re-established after being abolished for a time last fall to handle the biggest influx and warnings of a spike in crime weren’t realized. But with regional elections coming in the fall, this month’s attacks could give AfD fresh support.

On Monday, the AfD criticized Merkel’s administration, saying that under “the current ideology of a dangerous ‘multiculturalism,’ the country’s domestic security and the order of Germany keeps getting destroyed.”

Social media criticism of Merkel was especially harsh, with some people condemning her for accepting hundreds of thousands of migrants last year.

Merkel tried to calm the mood over the weekend by saying the security services will “do everything possible to protect the security and freedom of all people in Germany.”

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said most asylum seekers had come to Germany to escape persecution, and it was important to remember that only a tiny minority had links to terrorism. It would be wrong, he told the Funke newspaper group, to put all of them under “general suspicion, even if there are investigations in individual cases.”

“We are currently talking about 59 investigations for possible links to terrorist structures, and that’s with many hundreds of thousands of newly arrived people,” he was quoted as saying. In the overwhelming number of cases, reports turn out to be false.

De Maiziere called for Germany’s borders to be better protected without preventing people from coming in by legal and safe means “in reasonable numbers.”

In the Munich shooting, he noted there was no indication the gunman, born in Germany to Iranian parents, had failed to integrate in German society.

Nonetheless, “people in Germany are scared,” said Rainer Wendt, the head of the police union DPolG.

“Last year, we gave up control of our borders and instructed police not to check everything that should have been checked,” Wendt said in an interview on German broadcaster n-tv. “There was also this welcome culture, which stopped us clearly seeing that some people have come here who are up to no good, or who are so psychologically unstable that they pose a considerable threat.”

Armin Nassehi, a sociologist at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, said that among the 1 million asylum seekers who were registered in Germany last year, “there’s a big number of traumatized people who know nothing but violence — that’s a fact one cannot ignore.”

He pointed out that “most people who commit Islamist acts of terror are also psychologically unstable.”

Asked why there were so many attacks in such a short time, Nassehi suggested some of the attackers may be copycats, saying that “images of violence produce further violence.”

Asked how similar attacks could best be prevented, de Maiziere said it was important to ensure that new arrivals be well-integrated quickly into German society.

“Good integration policy is always preventive security policy as well,” he said.

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Gera reported from Warsaw, Poland. Frank Jordans contributed from Berlin.

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Attacks in Germany: four strikes in a week

July 25, 2016

AFP

© AFP | Candles and flowers pile up at a makeshift memorial near the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, scene of a gun attack that left nine dead

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany is reeling after a spate of bloody attacks in the south of the country in the last week.

Although refugees were suspected in three of the four assaults, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government warned against branding migrants a general security threat after the country let in a record 1.1 million asylum seekers last year.

 

A police forensic expert works outside where a 21-year-old Syrian refugee killed a woman with a machete and injured two other people in the city of Reutlingen, Germany July 24, 2016.
REUTERS/VINCENT KESSLER

Here is what we know about the attacks:

– July 24, 2016: Festival suicide bombing –

A failed Syrian asylum seeker set off an explosive device near an open-air music festival in the southern city of Ansbach that killed himself and wounded a dozen others.

The 27-year-old had spent time in a psychiatric facility, while the regional authorities said an there was “likely” a jihadist motive for the attack.

However a spokesman for the interior ministry later said there was as yet “no credible evidence” of a link to Islamic extremism.

– July 24, 2016: Knife attack –

A Syrian refugee was arrested after killing a Polish woman with a large kebab knife at a snack bar in the southwestern city of Reutlingen, in an incident police said did not bear the hallmarks of a “terrorist attack” and was more likely a crime of passion.

Three people were also injured in the assault, which ended when the 21-year-old assailant was deliberately struck by a BMW driver, believed to be the snack bar owner’s son, trying to stop the man.

– July 22, 2016: Munich mall mass shooting –

David Ali Sonboly, 18, shot dead nine people at a Munich shopping mall before turning the gun on himself, having spent a year planning the rampage.

Police said that the German-Iranian was “obsessed” with mass killers like Norwegian right-wing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group.

– July 18, 2016: Train axe attack –

A 17-year-old migrant wielding an axe and a knife went on a rampage on a regional train, seriously injuring four members of a tourist family from Hong Kong and a German passer-by.

The Islamic State group subsequently released a video purportedly featuring the assailant, named by media as Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, announcing he would carry out an “operation” in Germany, and presenting himself as a “soldier of the caliphate”.

He is believed to have been Afghan or Pakistani.

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Germany: Syrian man who detonated a bomb near a music festival was ordered departed by Germany (twice) — Law enforcement?

July 25, 2016

ANSBACH, Germany — The Latest on a series of attacks in Germany in the past week (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

A spokesman for Germany’s interior ministry says the man who detonated a bomb near a music festival, killing himself and wounding 12 others, had received two deportation notices.

Tobias Plate says the 27-year-old Syrian man was most recently told July 13 that he would be deported to Bulgaria

Plate told reporters that the first deportation notice was issued on Dec. 22, 2014.

He says the man was to be deported to Bulgaria because he had submitted his first asylum request in the southeastern European country.

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12:30 p.m.

Germany’s top security official says authorities are conducting 59 investigations of refugees suspected of possible links to terrorist organizations.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere says it would be wrong to put all refugees under general suspicion, “even if there are investigations in individual cases.”

The Funke newspaper group on Monday quoted him as saying: “We are currently talking about 59 investigations for possible links to terrorist structures, and that’s with many hundreds of thousands of newly arrived people.”

He adds that in the overwhelming number of cases, reports turn out not to be true.

De Maiziere called for Germany’s borders to be better protected without preventing refugees from coming to the country by legal and safe means — “in reasonable numbers.”

Continue reading the main story

He noted that in the Munich gun attack there was no indication that the perpetrator, the German-born son of Iranian asylum-seekers, had failed to integrate in German society.

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12:05 p.m.

Poland’s Foreign Ministry says a woman killed in a knife attack in southern Germany was a Polish citizen.

It was one in a series of deadly attacks in Germany in the past week.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Rafal Sobczak said Monday the victim of the attack in Reutlingen has been confirmed as a Polish citizen.

Sven Heinz of Reutlingen police said on Polish TVN24 the attacker injured two other people before being arrested. His motives were probably personal.

The attacker has been identified as a 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker.

A police forensic expert works outside where a 21-year-old Syrian refugee killed a woman with a machete and injured two other people in the city of Reutlingen, Germany July 24, 2016.
REUTERS/VINCENT KESSLER

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Noon

Munich authorities say a 16-year-old Afghan friend of the Munich attacker who killed nine people in a rampage before killing himself may have known of the attack in advance.

Police said Monday the 16-year-old was arrested late Sunday and investigators were able to retrieve a deleted chat between him and the attacker on the messaging app WhatsApp.

Police say that from the chat it appears that the 16-year-old met with the attacker at the scene of the rampage — a mall in Munich — before the attack. He also knew the attacker had a pistol.

Investigators say the two teenagers met last year as in-patients at a psychiatric ward. Both were being treated for online game addiction, among other things.

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11:45 a.m.

A German official says a Syrian who blew himself up in southern Germany, wounding 12 people, was to be deported to Bulgaria.

An interior ministry spokesman says Syrians can’t be deported directly to Syria because of the situation there.

The spokesman, Tobias Plate, said he could not say “at this moment why the deportation” of the 27-year-old failed asylum seeker didn’t happen. It was not clear when he was supposed to be deported.

The man blew himself outside a bar in Ansbach after being turned away from an open-air music festival.

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11:40 a.m.

Police say a 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker who killed a 45-year-old woman with a machete and injured two in southwestern Germany worked together with the victim.

German news agency dpa reported Monday that the attacker said in an interrogation that he worked with the woman in the same restaurant in Reutlingen. It was not immediately clear how well they knew each other.

The asylum seeker, who was arrested right after the attack on Sunday night, was known to police and according to investigators he had psychiatric problems.

He was having an argument with the woman before attacking her about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. The suspect, whose name was not released, then wounded another woman and a man as he fled.

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10:20 a.m.

A hospital treating four people wounded by an ax-and-knife-wielding man who attacked people on a German train last week says two of the victims remain in intensive case.

Wuerzburg’s university hospital said in a statement Monday that “the state of health of all patients has stabilized but the risk of complications remains substantial.”

It said one of the patients, a tourist from Hong Kong, is still in a medically induced coma.

A fifth person wounded in the attack has been released from hospital.

The 17-year-old attacker was an Afghan asylum-seeker who assaulted the group of Hong Kong tourists on a train near Wuerzburg before jumping off and attacking a woman walking her dog. He was later shot and killed by police.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, though authorities say it appears he acted alone.

The incident last Monday was the first in a series of attacks that have shaken Germany over the past week.

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9:45 a.m.

Police say they have arrested a 16-year-old Afghan in relation with a deadly rampage at a Munich mall that killed nine people and left dozens wounded.

Police said the teenager was a friend of the 18-year-old German-Iranian attacker who killed himself after the rampage Friday night

They say the younger man may have known more details ahead of the upcoming rampage than he admitted during an initial interrogation with the authorities.

Police say the Afghan teenager was arrested Sunday night

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9:40 a.m.

Officials say the man who blew himself up near a music festival in the Bavarian town of Ansbach, wounding 12 others, was known to police for low-level drug offenses.

Regional police spokeswoman Elke Schoenwald says the 27-year-old Syrian man had also twice before attempted suicide.

A team of 30 investigators are interviewing the man’s acquaintances and examining evidence collected from his home at a nearby asylum-seeker shelter.

Schoenwald said the unnamed man’s asylum application had been rejected a year ago, but he had been given temporary permission to remain in Germany.

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9:35 a.m.

An emergency response coordinator says paramedics working at a music festival in Ansbach were quick to react to the blast that killed the attacker and wounded 12 people in the Bavarian town late Sunday.

Dieter Seyerlein said medics were present with several ambulances “and could immediately start with primary care, and thus could give a very exact report on the situation, how big the deployment possibly would become.”

He said additional first responders were mobilized within half an hour.

Officials say a 27-year-old Syrian blew himself up after being turned away from an open-air music festival.

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9:30 a.m.

Police say a 27-year-old Syrian blew himself up in the outside seating area of a wine bar near an open-air concert in southern Germany, killing himself and injuring 12 — three of them severely.

Bavaria police said in a statement Monday morning that security staff noticed the man with the backpack near the entrance of the concert site in Ansbach, where some 2,500 people were listening to music bands on Sunday night around 9:45 p.m.

Police spokeswoman Elke Schoenwald said he was refused entry to the concert because he didn’t have a ticket. He then sat down on a chair outside the nearby restaurant. According to witness accounts he briefly leaned forward at 10:10 p.m. and then triggered the explosion.

Police on Monday morning raided a nearby asylum shelter where the attacker seems to have lived, according to other residents of the home.

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Afghan Refugee That Attacked Fellow Passengers With An Axe on a German Train Had an Islamic State Flag Where He Lived — Hong Kong family in the middle of “a slaughterhouse”

July 19, 2016
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Shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest)
Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:13am EDT

REUTERS — A hand-drawn Islamic State flag was found in the room of the axe-wielding Afghan refugee who attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany, a senior state official said on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old severely wounded four passengers before police shot him dead late on Monday, days after a Tunisian delivery man plowed a 19-tonne truck into crowds of revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 84.

The case is likely to deepen worries about so-called “lone wolf” attacks in Europe and could put political pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel who welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany over the past year.

Bavarian state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said it was still too early to say whether the Afghan youth was a member of Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the French attack, or any other militant group.

Two of those injured in the attacks were in a critical condition and several of the injured included members of a Chinese family, he added, without giving any further details.

MOTIVES

At least one witness reported that the attacker, who had been living with a foster family in the nearby town of Ochsenfurt, had shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest), Herrmann told ZDF television.

“All of that has to be put together in a large mosaic as to what his motivations were, and to what extent he can be counted as an Islamist, or to what extent he radicalized himself in recent times,” Herrmann said. “We are pursuing every piece of evidence.”

Herrmann told the Bayerischer Rundfunk radio station in a separate interview that the attacker had come to Germany as an unaccompanied minor about two years ago.

He started attacking his passengers with an ax and a knife as the train was approaching its last stop, the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg.

He fled after the emergency brake was pulled and was pursued by a police unit and shot dead when he tried to attack the officers, officials said.

The South China Morning Post said the injured passengers were from Hong Kong.

Unlike neighbors France and Belgium, Germany has not been the victim of a major attack by Islamic militants in recent years, although security officials say they have thwarted a large number of plots.

Germany welcomed roughly 1 million migrants in 2015, including thousands of unaccompanied minors. Many were fleeing war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Noah Barkin and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-attacks-germany-idUSKCN0ZY2LA

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BBC News
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Germany axe attack: Assault on train in Wurzburg injures Hong Kong family
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Police stand by regional train on which man wielding axe attacked passengers in Wuerzburg, Germany, 18 July 2016
The attacker fled the train but was chased and shot dead by police. EPA photo

A teenage Afghan refugee armed with an axe and knife injured four people on a train in southern Germany before being shot dead by police, officials say.

Three people in a group from Hong Kong were seriously hurt and one slightly injured in the attack in Wurzburg. Another 14 were treated for shock.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the attacker was killed as he tried to flee the scene.

The motive for the attack is not yet clear.

The South China Morning Post said it was believed the four injured were a 62-year-old man, his 58-year-old wife, their daughter, 27, and her boyfriend, 31. The 17-year-old son travelling with them was not hurt, it said.

A source told the paper the father and boyfriend had tried to protect the other members of the group.

‘Exclamation’

Mr Herrmann said the attacker was a 17-year-old Afghan refugee who had been living in the nearby town of Ochsenfurt.

He told public broadcaster ARD that the teenager appeared to have travelled to Germany as an unaccompanied minor.

Bloodstains on the floor of the train carriage. 18 July 2016

Bloodstains could be seen on the floor of the train carriage. EPA photo

Mr Herrmann said authorities were looking into reports that the attacker had yelled out “an exclamation”. Some witnesses quoted by German media said they had heard him shout “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) during the attack.

‘Slaughterhouse’

The incident happened at about 21:15 (19:15 GMT) on the train which runs between Treuchlingen and Wurzburg.

“Shortly after arriving at Wurzburg, a man attacked passengers with an axe and a knife,” a police spokesman said.

Police said the attacker had fled the train but was chased by officers who shot him dead.

German emergency services in the area where a man with an axe attacked passengers on a train near the city of Wurzburg, Germany. July 19, 2016

Emergency services sealed off the area of the attack. Reuters

One local man told DPA news agency that the train carriage where the attack took place “looked like a slaughterhouse”.

He said he saw people crawl from the carriage and ask for a first-aid kit while other victims lay on the floor inside.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has condemned the attack. Immigration officials from the city will accompany family members to Germany.

Although the motive has not been established, the BBC’s Damien McGuinness in Berlin says there is nervousness in Germany about attacks by Islamist extremists following the attacks across the border in France.

In May, a man reportedly shouting “Allahu akbar” killed a man and wounded three others in a knife attack at a railway station near the German city of Munich.

He was later sent to a psychiatric hospital and authorities said they had found no links to Islamic extremism.

map showing Wurzburg location in central Germany

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36827725

Axe Attack On German Train — Between 10 to 15 people wounded, several critically — Attacker Said To Be Incapacitated

July 18, 2016

German Police Say Several Critically Wounded in Axe Attack on train

Several of the casualties in life-threatening condition, police says.

DPA and Reuters Jul 19, 2016 12:16 AM

A man with an axe attacked passengers on a train in the German state of Bavaria late on Monday and wounded between 10 to 15 people, several critically, a police spokesman said.
Earlier reports said as many as 20 people were wounded in the attack, near the southern city of Wuerzberg.

A report on Bayerischer Rundfunk radio said that the attacker had been incapacitated, but there was no confirmation of a report he had been shot.
skip – Wuerzburg, Germany
This is a developing story.

DPA
Haaretz Contributor
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.731870