Würzburg (dpa) – According to previous psychiatric assessments, the stabber from Würzburg was possibly incapable of guilt when he attacked passers-by.
The Bavarian State Criminal Police Office and the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday whether the refugee’s religious convictions from Somalia played a role in the act on June 25. According to a toxicological report, the man had not consumed drugs or alcohol.
On the two cell phones of the 24-year-old, no references to propaganda material or other extremist content, nor clues to possible accomplices or confidants were found. “Paper notes that were found at the scene of the crime shortly after the crime turned out to be unsuspicious and have no connection with the crime or the suspect,” it said.
The man was brought before an investigating judge at the Würzburg district court on Tuesday, who ordered him to be placed in a psychiatric facility. So far, the Somali was in custody in a prison in Würzburg.
The migrant had stabbed people who were obviously unknown to him in downtown Würzburg. Three women died and five people were critically injured. There were also four slightly injured – including a man who was not attacked directly by the knife. Rather, according to the investigators, he fell while trying to prevent the attacker from continuing the attack.
Witnesses claim to have heard the exclamation “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) twice during the knife attack. Jihadists and Salafists often use the term like a battle cry. In doing so, the extremists are hijacking the central religious formula of Islam, which has been used by Muslims around the world for centuries.
In addition, the refugee, who was later stopped with a police shot in the hospital, is said to have hinted at the jihad – that is, the “holy war”. Therefore, the investigators so far considered it obvious that the man could have been Islamistically motivated. The motive was still unclear, it was said on Tuesday. So far there is no evidence that the Somali was involved in a terrorist organization.
According to the announcement, it will take some time before a final expert opinion on the psyche of the 24-year-old is available. Two experts are commissioned to do this.
The Somali was first registered in Germany in 2015. Since then he had attracted attention several times because of mental health problems. Before the act, the authorities said they had no evidence that the man could endanger other people. According to the investigators, the prerequisites for permanent placement in a psychiatric hospital have not yet been met. Most recently, the perpetrator lived in a homeless shelter in Würzburg.
The man’s public defender said Tuesday that he had the impression that his client’s mental state had deteriorated further since the crime. Although he thinks the 24-year-old has listened to him at times and understood what was said. But meaningful communication has not been possible so far.