The November 6, 2021, knife attack on a high-speed ICE train between Passau and Hamburg that left four injured had radical Islamic motives, German authorities are now acknowledging.
On Monday, the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that the alleged perpetrator acted based on “Islamist convictions.”
Following the investigation by Bavaria’s Central Office for Combating Extremism and Terrorism, “it turned out that the defendant’s guilt could be assumed and that he had acted based on Islamist extremist convictions,” stated the prosecution in a press release.
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The investigation is, therefore, being taken over by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe, which has jurisdiction in terrorism matters.
The perpetrator was aware of his actions
After the attack, which left some of the victims seriously injured, the alleged perpetrator was arrested and initially admitted to a psychiatric ward.
But a psychiatric report has since established that the suspect was aware of his actions at the time of the attack. The man, who was 27 at the time, was therefore transferred to a correctional facility.
“The complete and thorough assessment of the data carriers seized (from the suspect), and the witness interviews furthermore provided important clues indicating that the act was indeed based on an extremist Islamist belief referring to the Islamic State group,” added the prosecution.
However, the suspect does not seem to have been “integrated into this structure or directed by it,” stated the press release.
A number of attacks that appeared to have an Islamic motive ended with the attacker admitted to a psychiatric ward, such as an Iraqi asylum seeker who began praying on a pray mat and shouting “Allahu Akbar” after ramming motorcyclists on Berlin’s Autobahn in April 2021. In that same year, a Somali man stabbed and killed three German women, one in front of her 11-year-old daughter, but was also admitted to a psychiatric ward despite the man telling investigators he performed the attack to achieve jihad.
Germany, which has placed far-right terrorism at the forefront of threats to its security, has been the place of several Islamist attacks in recent years. The deadliest was carried out in December 2016 when a truck hit a Christmas market in central Berlin.