German knife attacker mental - officials

2016-05-10 16:57
Forensic experts stand next to a commuter train on a platform of the station of Grafing near Munich. (Andreas Gebert , dpa  AFP)

Forensic experts stand next to a commuter train on a platform of the station of Grafing near Munich. (Andreas Gebert , dpa AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Grafing - A German man who officials said had drug and psychological problems stabbed to death one person and slashed three more in a bloody dawn attack at a railway station on Tuesday.

Police arrested the 27-year-old after the apparently random assault around 05:00 (03:00 GMT) at the commuter railway station of the small town of Grafing, east of Munich.

One of the victims, a 56-year-old man, later died of his wounds in hospital. Authorities had earlier wrongly given his age as 50.

The others injured were men aged 43, 55 and 58. One of the victims was seriously hurt, the other two more lightly wounded.

Police and prosecutors initially said the attack appeared to be "politically motivated" and with an apparent Islamist motive after eye witnesses had reported hearing him scream "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest).

However, hours later, Bavaria state's interior ministry said that "so far we have no evidence for an Islamist motive, but the investigation continues".

"We have found the man had psychological and drug problems," ministry spokesperson Oliver Platzer told AFP.

Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that "from Berlin I don't want to feed and evaluate speculation about the motive."

Bavaria's interior minister Joachim Herrmann said the attacker, named locally as Paul H., was a German national, as authorities said he hailed from central Hesse state and did not have a migrant background.

"As to what extent there were other background factors, or whether this is more about questions of mental instability or drug addiction, still needs to be investigated," Herrmann said on BR24 television.

Earlier Ken Heidenreich, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, had said that the "assailant made remarks at the scene of the crime that indicate a political motive - apparently an Islamist motive... We are still determining what the exact remarks were."

Bloody footsteps

In the dawn attack, the assailant stabbed one man aboard a train, another on the platform, then left the station and slashed two more men on bicycles outside, said Bavarian police spokesperson Karl-Heinz Segerer.

"In the meantime local police received an emergency call, and the officers quickly arrived at the scene and were able to detain the man," said Segerer on NTV news channel.

Bloody footsteps and police forensic officers in white plastic suits could be seen at the cordoned-off railway station in video footage from Grafing, 30km east of the Bavarian capital.

Town mayor Angelika Obermayr expressed shock at the bloody crime in the sleepy town of 13 000 people.

"We are an absolutely peaceful Bavarian small town in the greater Munich region," she said on NTV. "Something like this is absolutely new and has deeply shocked the people here who only know things like that from television.

"That something like that happened here is absolutely unbelievable."

The violence came at a time of heightened public fears about jihadist attacks.

Last August, the Islamic State group threatened Germany with attacks in an online execution video.

Attack unbelievers

In the rare German-language video, two jihadists urged their "brothers and sisters" in Germany and Austria to commit attacks against "unbelievers" at home.

Since then Germany had seen at least two bloody knife assaults blamed on Islamists.

In February a 15-year-old girl identified as Safia S stabbed a policeman in the neck with a kitchen knife at Hanover train station in what prosecutors later said was an ISIS-inspired attack.

Last September, a 41-year-old Iraqi man identified as Rafik Y stabbed and seriously wounded a policewoman in Berlin before another officer shot him dead.

The man had previously spent time in jail for membership of a banned Islamist group and had been convicted in 2008 of planning an attack in Berlin against former Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi.

According to the German domestic intelligence agency, around 740 people have left Germany to join jihadist groups in Syria or Iraq. About 120 of them have been killed, while about one third have returned to Germany.

Read more on:    isis  |  germany

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.