Mohammed Riad, a young asylum-seeker supposedly from Afghanistan, went on an ax and knife rampage on a train in southern Germany earlier this week, wounding five people before being shot and killed by police.
A 17-year-old asylum-seeker vowing “revenge on these infidels” went on an ax and knife rampage on a train in southern Germany, wounding five people before being shot and killed by police — an attack that German authorities conceded Tuesday was almost impossible to prevent.
New reports have surfaced that German authorities suspect Riad was Pakistani but claimed to be an Afghan refugee in order to increase his chances of getting asylum.
German officials didn’t identify the attacker or the victims, but Hong Kong’s immigration department said among those wounded were four members of a family of five from the southern Chinese city.
At least one member of the Chinese family and another woman attacked outside the train were in life-threatening condition, according to Bamberg prosecutor Erik Ohlenschlager.
Media identified the terrorist as Mohammed Riad.
The Islamic State (ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the Monday night train attack, which came less than a week after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, France, also claimed by ISIS, in which 84 people were killed.
In a video posted by the Islamic State that purports to show the attacker, the young man calls on others to “kill these infidels in the countries that you live in.”
“You can see I have lived in your own home and have planned to behead you in your own territory,” the young man says in Pashto while brandishing a knife.
Bavaria’s top security official Joachim Herrmann’s office told the dpa news agency that investigators had determined that the video was authentic.
Herrmann said, while the Nice attack was “clearly another dimension,” in both cases the choices of weapons and targets made them “extremely difficult to prevent in any fashion.”
“In one case a truck, in another an ax and knife — those are the weapons that society cannot logically eliminate, with which any person could equip themselves, which they could put to use at virtually any location at any time of night or day,” he said.
Nevertheless, he urged an increased visible police presence across the country.
Germany has not experienced the large, deadly attacks that France and Belgium have, although a string of sexual assaults and robberies on New Year’s Eve in Cologne that prosecutors say were committed largely by Muslim foreigners gave rise to fears of whether the country could cope with the 1 million migrants it registered in 2015.
Despite the ISIS claim of responsibility and a hand-painted ISIS flag found in the terrorist’s apartment, authorities said so far they have found no direct links between the suspect and ISIS and believe that he self-radicalized.
Investigator Lothar Koehler said the teenager’s motivation appeared to be Islam based upon a passage, found among notes in his apartment, which read: “Pray for me that I can take revenge on these infidels and pray for me that I will go to heaven.”
A Premeditated Attack
In the premeditated attack, the attacker boarded the regional train after 9 p.m. near the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg with an ax and knife concealed in a bag, according to Ohlenschlager. He said the suspect had learned Saturday that a friend had died in Afghanistan.
On the train, the suspect encountered an employee from the asylum shelter where he had lived until two weeks ago when he moved in with a foster family. He didn’t respond to her comments but left for another train car, hid in a bathroom and armed himself, Ohlenschlager said.
“Then, without warning, he attacked the passengers using great force on their bodies and their heads,” Ohlenschlager said, adding he shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” a phrase frequently shouted by Muslim terrorists during attacks.
Witnesses said the interior of the train was covered with blood and looked “like a slaughterhouse,” the German news agency dpa reported. About 30 passengers were on the train and more than a dozen were treated for shock.
After the train made an emergency stop, the suspect fled and ran into two women walking a dog. He attacked one from behind, saying “I’ll finish you!” and yelling a vulgar term for a woman in German, as he hit her at least twice in the face with the ax.
Shortly after, he encountered a police SWAT team, jumping out at them from bushes brandishing his ax. He was shot and killed.
Ohlenschlager said at least two victims were suffering from “acute life-threatening” wounds, including the woman attacked outside the train.
In the video posted by the Islamic State’s Aamaq news agency, the man claimed he was a soldier “of the Islamic State and will be carrying out an attack in Germany today.”
Herrmann said people close to the terrorist told investigators he had seemed to be a calm person, not overtly religious or an extremist. He said investigators were still looking into the evidence found in the teenager’s room, including a possible farewell letter to his father.
Koehler said the suspect had registered as a refugee in June 2015, when he crossed into the country from Austria. German authorities sent him to an asylum home for unaccompanied minors in Ochsenfurt. He received asylum in March and had a residency permit.
He was a Sunni Muslim who didn’t go to the mosque regularly, but prayed regularly at home, and had not committed any previous crimes in Germany Koehler said.
“He was active on social media, had his page there, but there were no hints of any extremist Islamist thought,” Koehler said. “However, 24 hours ago he posted a cryptic message about the enemies of Islam.”
Hong Kong’s top official, Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying, condemned the attack and extended his sympathies to the victims and their families.
By: AP and World Israel News