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Barbarossa Square in Würzburg where the Somali jihadist attacked innocent passers-by. Google Maps/Twitter
Würzburg

Terror investigation after jihadist knife attack in Würzburg

On the day after the fatal knife attack in Würzburg, Germany, extensive investigations were launched by the police. The alleged perpetrator stabbed passers-by apparently indiscriminately in the city centre late on Friday afternoon. The investigators will examine, among other things, an Islamist motive for the act.

Published: June 26, 2021, 2:05 pm

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    Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann commented on the current state of the investigation to journalists in Würzburg after three people died and at least five were seriously injured, including a young boy. According to Herrmann, two of them are still in a critical condition. A police spokeswoman did not say on Saturday how many more injured there were.

    The spokeswoman could not say anything about the condition of the surviving victims either. She announced a press conference for Saturday afternoon – the time and place were not fixed however.

    Investigators said they were gathering evidence with numerous emergency services in the Bavarian university town on the Main to clarify the background and the motive of the crime. At the moment, a possible Islamist motive of the attacker is being examined, since, according to witness statements, the Somali perpetrator is said to have shouted “Allahu Akbar”during the attack.

    The suspect, a 24-year-old Somali who has been in Germany for about five years and who most recently lived in a homeless shelter in Würzburg, had been known to the police before the attack. An officer shot him after the crime, but according to the police then injury posed no danger to his life. According to police reports, the suspect had already been violent and psychotic over the past few months. Only a few days ago he was forcibly committed to psychiatric treatment.

    The heroic and courageous efforts of the citizens of Würzburg, who stood in the way of the knife killer in order to prevent further life-threatening attacks, is meanwhile being portrayed in the mainstream as “unbelievable hunting scenes” against the Somali migrant. The headline of Merkur riled against those who had fended off the allegedly “traumatized” and “psychologically stressed refugee”.

    According to the German weekly Spiegel, the migrant is said to have declared after his arrest that he had carried out his “jihad”. Police found Islamic State material at the knife killer’s home. According to Bild, he mainly wanted to kill women, stabbing them in the neck and throat. The killer, born in Mogadishu in 1997, was specifically targeting especially the neck and throat to inflict maximum damage, according to an internal note.

    In January, there was reportedly already a threat situation in which he had brandished a knife.

    Herrmann however, expressed his “very, very great respect” in Würzburg for the intervening citizens who “distracted and prevented” the murderer from carrying out further stabbings. This “possibly saved human lives”. Herrmann sees their commitment as “exclusively positive”. It was an “optimal reaction of the citizens with a lot of civil courage”. Prime Minister Markus Söder also tweeted his “great thanks and respect for the courageous intervention of many citizens” who “resolutely opposed the alleged attacker”.

    Both politicians probably remember that in Würzburg, five years ago, a young Afghan ravaged a regional train armed with an axe and knife. In July 2016, this “deranged” passenger attacked Germans on a regional train. Four people were seriously injured and one person was slightly injured in the attack. The police shot the attacker, who had previously committed himself to the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist militia.

    The latest bloody deed in Würzburg was indeed a timely wake-up call: The killer came to Germany in 2015, apparently in the wake of Chancellor Angela Merkel giving up control of the country’s borders. Although rejected as an asylum seeker and known to the police as a violent perpetrator, the Somali was never deported.

    No country in the world is forced to permanently accept, care for and treat the “mentally disturbed” people from foreign cultures. Especially when “mental disorder” becomes the code for Islamic fanaticism. A striking number of “mentally disturbed people” shout “Allahu akbar” when they commit their murderous acts.

    If the state had acted according to the law, had not allowed this man into the country in the first place or had deported him immediately after his crossing the border illegally, three people could still be alive and countless others would have been spared immeasurable suffering.

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