Prosecutors: Hamburg attacker wanted to kill Christians
BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Friday they have indicted on murder charges a Palestinian man who fatally stabbed one person and wounded six others at a Hamburg supermarket in July.
The suspect wanted to kill as many Germans of Christian faith as possible to avenge what he considered to be injustices against Muslims worldwide, federal prosecutors said in a statement.
He considered his actions a “contribution to a worldwide jihad,” they added.
The 26-year-old suspect, a rejected asylum-seeker identified only as Ahmad A. due to German privacy rules, was charged with one count of murder, six counts of attempted murder and six counts of serious bodily harm.
Prosecutors said investigators had found no credible evidence that A., who was born in the United Arab Emirates and arrived in Germany in 2015, was involved with or had the support of any extremist group, such as the so-called Islamic State group. They also found no evidence that anyone else was involved in the attack.
The suspect carried out the attack on July 28 with a kitchen knife he grabbed from a supermarket shelf. He was then overwhelmed by passers-by and arrested.
Ahmad A. had been cooperating with authorities in efforts to secure new Palestinian identity papers so that he could be deported.
Officials in Hamburg have said that he was known to authorities as a suspected Islamic radical but not as a “jihadist.” They also considered him psychologically unstable but didn’t conclude that he posed any immediate danger.
Federal prosecutors said he decided on the day of the attack to kill Christian Germans indiscriminately, and that he cited tensions at the time over a contested Jerusalem holy site as his immediate motivation.