Hamburg knife attacker has lived in Norway
A 26 year old man, named Ahmad A. by the German newspaper, Spiegel, killed one, and injured five other customers at a Hamburg supermarket on Friday. He had been living in Scandinavia for a long time, and spoke fluent Norwegian, said the prosecutor in Hamburg.
He arrived in Germany in March 2015, after spending periods of time in Norway, Sweden, and Spain.
The man was born in the United Arab Emirates, of Palestinian origin. In 2016,his asylum application was rejected in Germany, but he couldn’t be deported immediately because he had no identification papers.
However, he’d accepted that he had to leave the country, and had contributed to the process of obtaining documents so that he could be expelled. On the day of the attack, he’d gone to the authorities to check if the identification papers had arrived.
Police chief, Ralf Meyer, said the suspect was ‘almost exemplary’ in view of that matter.
Hamburg’s Justice Minister, Andy Grote, said that there are indications that the man may have had an Islamic motive for the attack.
At the same time, he pointed out that the man had psychiatric problems. The security authorities had flagged the man for possible radicalisation, but didn’t regard him as an immediate threat.
‘He was known as an Islamist, but not a jihadist,’ he said at a press conference in Hamburg on Saturday.
The term ‘jihadist’ is customarily used for potentially violent Islamists, to distinguish them from Islamists who abstain from violence.
However, the police have been careful to discover what was the subject that provoked the attack, and this isn’t yet confirmed. According to Grote, there is little evidence Suggesting that he belonged to a larger network.
German police hit full terrorist alarm mode when they were notified of the incident.
The sequence of events is still unclear and, according to some reports, it was a robbery attempt that went wrong. The man stabbed random customers with a large kitchen knife as he fled from the store.
A 50 year old man was killed, and five other wounded in the incident. None of the injuries are considered life threatening, said the police.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today