Hamburg knife attacker was mentally unstable and an 'Islamist', say German authorities

Glen Mclaughlin
July 30, 2017

The UAE-born stabbed a German man to death with a kitchen knife and injured other six in an indiscriminate and sudden attack. A 50-year-old woman and four men aged 64, 57, 56 and 19 suffered stabbing injuries.

He later wounded two other men in the supermarket before fleeing, injuring others along the way, before he was overpowered by courageous passers-by.

Police said the heroic actions enabled plain-clothes officers to arrest the attacker nearby.

"It was definitely a lone attacker", Hamburg police said on Twitter. With no deadly attacks involving asylum seekers this year until Friday's Hamburg knifing, Merkel's Christian Democratic Union has rebounded in the polls and won three straight state votes.

A friend had tipped off authorities about changes in the man's behaviour, telling them he had stopped drinking alcohol and started talking about the Koran, said Torsten Voss, head of the Hamburg branch of the domestic intelligence agency. They said they are still working to establish his nationality. "First reports about a possible robbery can not be confirmed so far", he said.

"The citizens who bravely helped to capture the perpetrator have my highest respect", Scholz said.

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The motive for the incident was not immediately clear.

Grote added that the man had not been deported - even though his asylum application had been rejected - because he lacked the necessary identification papers.

Anis Amri, the Isis supporter who killed 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market, spent time in Dortmund and was mentored by Simeonovic before his arrest in November. Der Tagesspiegel, a daily based in Berlin, said the suspect was of Palestinian ethnicity and had come to Germany seeking asylum.

The similarity between the cases risks reopening wounds over Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to allow more than a million migrants into Germany since 2015.

A female witness, who said she was afraid of dying, also described the attacker as running out of the shop with his hands in the air while yelling "Allahu Akbar", leaving several wounded lying in pools of their own blood.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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