Madness, or Islamist attack? At the end of the afternoon of Friday, June 25, three people were killed in Würzburg, in southern Germany, and five others seriously injured in the wake of a brutal knife attack, perpetrated in a department store and in a neighboring savings bank.
The suspect, a 24-year-old Somali who arrived in the Bavarian city in 2015, was brought under control thanks to the joint action of passers-by and the police. While the man had recently been interned, the local authorities raised the possibility of a “madness stroke” linked to his fragile psychiatric condition, without excluding at this stage an Islamist motivation. Known to the police, the alleged assailant, residing in a homeless home, had already demonstrated on several occasions ” violent behavior », Revealed the regional Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann, member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), who went there shortly after the massacre.
” The investigation will have to determine if we are dealing with an act related to Islamism or to the psychic state of the aggressor. “, He continued, before specifying that a witness had heard him shout” Alla hou Akbar “(” God is great “).
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On the evening of the attack, the national anti-terrorism prosecution was not immediately contacted. After indicating that the suspect was not known until now for Islamist convictions, the local police had asked the Net surfers to ” do not share photos or videos ” from the scene, ” out of respect for the victims “.
Most of the local media respected this instruction, with the exception of the conservative tabloid Bild, which broadcast images filmed by witnesses. In these sequences, we see the killer walking around barefoot, a knife in his hand. Dozens of passers-by, equipped with chairs or sticks, pursue him, before being joined by a police vehicle. Another video shows the alleged assailant on the ground, his hands about to be handcuffed by a police officer, under the abuse of a group of residents expressing their fear in the center of this town located 120 km to the east. from Frankfurt. On the evening of the tragedy, the police further clarified that they had used their firearms to arrest the suspect – by shooting him in the legs – but that his life was out of danger.
A few months before the federal elections, scheduled for September, political reactions have continued to multiply after the tragedy. On Saturday June 26, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said to himself ” shocked “After this” horrible act of violence “, During which the aggressor demonstrated” extremely brutal “. The candidate of the conservatives and possible successor of Angela Merkel to the chancellery, Armin Laschet, has expressed his ” great respect ” with regard to “the courageous citizens who quickly intervened” to stop the abuser.
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, however, took up the case to denounce ” Islamist knife killings in the heart of Germany », According to a tweet from its co-president, Jörg Meuthen, criticizing Angela Merkel’s migratory reception policy, while Germany had welcomed, between 2015 and 2016, more than a million asylum seekers, for the Most from Syria and Iraq. “
Who lives “
While a press conference must be organized on Saturday, June 26 at 3 p.m., the investigation must still shed light on the many gray areas, in a tense context in Germany. The authorities are indeed on the alert in the face of the Islamist threat, especially since the ram truck attack, claimed by Daesh, which caused the death, on December 19, 2016, of twelve people in Berlin.
This jihadist attack remains the deadliest ever committed on German soil. According to data unveiled by the Ministry of the Interior, 17 attempted attacks of this kind have been foiled since 2009. Among the most notable, the police announced that they had prevented a “biological bomb” attack, following the arrest of a Tunisian suspected of being linked to Daesh. Arrived in Germany in 2015, the man is suspected of having sought to fill his machine with ricin, a poison 6,000 more powerful than cyanide. Across the Rhine, the jihadist organization also claimed responsibility in 2016 for a knife murder in Hamburg (north), as well as an ax attack already perpetrated, in a train from Würzburg, by an Afghan, which had left five wounded.
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