Germany's first attack by radicalised asylum seeker alarms officials
Again, how far can we trust ISIS's claims?
The attack had been carried out with an “Islamist religious motive”, a spokesperson for the state office of criminal investigations said.
A hand-painted Islamic State flag had been found in the teenager’s room at his foster home, as well as a college book with a text written in Pashtun.
Lothar Köhler, the director of the Bavarian investigations office, said he understood the text to be a farewell letter to the teenager’s father, in which he complained about “nonbelievers”.
In one key passage, he wrote: “Now pray for me that I can take revenge on these nonbelievers, and pray for me, that I make my way into heaven.”
On an emergency phone call made by one of the train’s passengers and recorded by her partner’s answerphone, the young man is said to be heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he carried out the attack.
The teenager had found out on Friday or Saturday that a close friend of his had died in Afghanistan, Köhler said – an event that may have played a role in his radicalisation.
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The Bavarian interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, said the notebook entry was a strong indicator that the teenager “could be a person who had been self-radicalised”.
At the same time, Herrmann said, there was no evidence that the attack had been organised or coordinated directly by Isis.
“There are currently no indicators of the young man being part of the Islamist militia’s network.”
Isis moved quickly to take responsibility for the attack, releasing a statement via its online news agency, Amaq, which said: “The perpetrator of the stabbing attack in Germany was one of the fighters of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in answer to the calls to target the countries of the coalition fighting the Islamic State.”