After the fatal knife attack in Würzburg, it is not yet clear whether the perpetrator was psychologically confused or actually had an Islamist motive. According to the Bild newspaper, the police are said to have found ISIS material in the home of the knife killer. The attack in the city center on late Friday afternoon left at least three fatalities and numerous injuries. Two of them are still in mortal danger. The suspect was stopped by a police shot in the leg and arrested.
WHAT WE KNOW:
The fact: Apparently without warning, the 24-year-old attacked three women in a Woolworth department store on Barbarossaplatz in the Bavarian Mainstadt on Friday around 5 p.m. with a long knife. They suffer fatal injuries. According to the police, he also attacks passers-by in a bank across the street and on the street, whom he probably doesn’t know from what is known so far. Three people die from the stitches in the department store. Five are seriously injured in hospitals, two of whom are in mortal danger. In addition, there should be other slightly injured – how many exactly, a police spokeswoman does not want to say on Saturday morning.
The alleged perpetrator: According to investigators, the attacker is 24 years old and has Somali citizenship. He is said to have been in Germany for about five years. Most recently he lived in a shelter for the homeless in Würzburg. According to information from the German Press Agency, the Somali received subsidiary protection. The police already knew the man before the attack – but not because of Islamist activities. After mental illness, he recently had to undergo psychiatric treatment – compulsorily, as State Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) says.
The investigations: The police are present with a large contingent in the university town on Friday. A helicopter is also used. Officials are in the homeless shelter – whether they can secure evidence, they will not reveal on Saturday morning. The investigators have no evidence of a second perpetrator.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW:
The victims: At first, the police do not reveal anything about the identity of the victims. Bavaria’s Interior Minister Herrmann only says that there should be a little boy among the injured, his father should be dead. According to the “Main-Post”, the Somali attacked predominantly women – according to previous knowledge indiscriminately. According to media reports, he is said to have only stabbed the neck and throat area.
The motif: This most pressing question has not yet been answered the day after. When classifying the bloody act, Herrmann does not rule out an Islamist attack on Friday evening: “In any case, there are indications that it could be an Islamist attack,” he told the German Press Agency. According to him, a witness stated that the suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar” (German: God is great) during the crime. Security circles said on Saturday that the young man had made a statement during his interrogation that suggested religious fanaticism. According to reports, however, there are no indications of any contact with militant Salafists. However, the Bild-Zeitung reports that the police found ISIS material in the home of the attacker. According to the police, the suspect has already been violent and mentally exposed in recent months.
The history: So far, almost nothing is publicly known, for example whether the 24-year-old has a criminal record and how he came to Germany. According to a spokesman, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees is not allowed to comment on individual cases in the asylum procedure for reasons of data protection. The officials also say nothing about the violent attacks by the man on others in the past – why, on whom, how badly? Whether and how the security authorities had him on the screen is open.