Thursday 8 December 2016

Axe-wielding teenager who attacked passengers on German train 'had hand-painted Isis flag in bedroom'

Michael Nienaber and Noah Barkin

Published 19/07/2016 | 06:42

A firefighter stands at a road block in Wuerzburg, southern Germany, Monday evening July 18, 2016. A man attacked people in a train and injured more than a dozen. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)
A firefighter stands at a road block in Wuerzburg, southern Germany, Monday evening July 18, 2016. A man attacked people in a train and injured more than a dozen. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)
Police officers stand beside a train in Wuerzburg, southern Germany, Monday evening, July 18, 2016 (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)
German emergency services workers work in the area where a man with an axe attacked passengers on a train near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany early July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Blood stains and a rescue blanket are seen through the windows of a train in Wuerzburg, southern Germany, Monday evening, July 18, 2016 (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)
German police cars move at the scene where a man with an axe attacked passengers on a train near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
A cameraman films at the scene where a man was shot dead by the police after attacking passengers on a train with an axe near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Blood is seen at the scene where a man with an axe attacked passengers on a train near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany, early July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Cameramen film at the scene where a man was shot dead by the police after attacking passengers on a train with an axe near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
German emergency services workers work in the area where a man with an axe attacked passengers on a train near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany early July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

A hand-drawn Islamic State flag was found in the room of the 17-year-old Afghan refugee who attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany before being shot dead by police, the interior minister for the state of Bavaria said on Tuesday.

  • Go To

Speaking on German public television, Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said it was too early to speculate about the motives of the attacker, who had wielded an axe and a knife, and whether he was a member of an Islamist group or had become self-radicalised in recent times.

However, so-called 'Islamic State' have since claimed responsibility for the attack.

Herrmann said two of those injured in the attacks were in a critical condition. Several of the injured included members of a Chinese family, he said, without giving any further details.

The attack comes just days after a Tunisian delivery man ploughed a 19-tonne truck into crowds of Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 84.

It 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.

Credit: Christian Schwarz/@Radioprimaton
Credit: Christian Schwarz/@Radioprimaton

"The attacker appears to have been a 17-year-old Afghan who has been living in Ochsenfurt for some time," Herrmann said. "He suddenly attacked passengers with a knife and an axe, critically injuring several. Some of them may now be fighting for their lives."

Police spokesman Fabian Hench said four people had been severely wounded and a fourth slightly injured. Several others were treated for shock.

The attacker fled the train when it halted at a station on the outskirts of Wuerzburg. Herrmann said the man had tried to attack police when he was confronted and had been shot dead.

German media, citing a spokesman for the Bavarian interior ministry, reported that the man had shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) during the attack, but neither Herrmann nor Hench said they could confirm that.

Credit: Christian Schwarz/@Radioprimaton
Credit: Christian Schwarz/@Radioprimaton

Unlike neighbours 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 countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News