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Crime: Mannheim knife attack: arrest warrant against perpetrator

Crime: Mannheim knife attack: arrest warrant against perpetrator

A police officer’s life is in danger following an attack on participants in an anti-Islam rally. Investigators have not yet commented on the perpetrator’s motives. Did he plan the crime?

Following the knife attack in Mannheim at an event organized by the anti-Islam movement Pax Europa (BPE), an arrest warrant has been issued against the 25-year-old attacker. He is charged with attempted murder, the Karlsruhe public prosecutor’s office and the Baden-Württemberg State Office of Criminal Investigation announced.

The alleged perpetrator has lived in Germany since 2014. He is married, has two children and was most recently living in Heppenheim, Hesse. The apartment of the man, who was born in Afghanistan, was searched on Friday evening. Electronic data storage devices were also seized and are now being evaluated. The man has not yet come to the attention of the police, it was said.

During the attack on Friday morning, the man injured several people on the market square in the city center, including a police officer, who was critically injured. The officer has been put into an artificial coma. “His life is still in danger,” said an LKA spokesman on Saturday. The perpetrator, who was also injured, has undergone surgery and is currently unable to be questioned. His motive is still unclear.

According to the information, the other injured people are five men aged between 25 and 59. Among them is a German-Kazakh citizen and an Iraqi citizen, the other three people have German citizenship. The 25-year-old has since been able to leave the hospital, the other victims are still receiving inpatient treatment. A 54-year-old was critically injured in the attack, but is now out of danger.

Injured man writes from clinic

One of the injured, BPE board member Michael Stürzenberger, has spoken out from the hospital. “It was really close yesterday,” the 59-year-old wrote in a message with a photo on the Telegram platform. He suffered several stab wounds, one of which in the thigh caused “significant blood loss.” He was also injured in the face. According to BPE treasurer Stefanie Kizina, the attack was specifically aimed at Stürzenberger, who is one of the leading minds in the Krefeld-based association.

Shortly after the attack, a video of the crime circulated on the Internet: It shows the attacker stabbing several people and bystanders shouting: “Put the knife down!” It also shows an officer shooting the attacker. Several police officers then pinned the man to the ground. According to the police, public prosecutor’s office and the State Criminal Police Office, only one shot was fired.

How did the attack take place?

A second video of the attack is now circulating on the X platform. The images show a different sequence of events than the one initially described by the investigators. Contrary to what the investigators claimed, the scene does not show the police officer taking an injured man out of the danger zone. The video shows that two men were already holding the perpetrator on the ground. Then another man in a blue jacket comes over and starts hitting one of the two men. The police officer then throws himself at this beating man in the blue jacket. This allowed the perpetrator to free himself and stab the police officer.

Even after the knife attack in Mannheim, the BPE wants to appear publicly at further events. A stand is planned in Dortmund city center next Saturday (June 8), treasurer Kizina told the German Press Agency. She assumes that the police “will definitely tighten security measures.”

No official information on the motive yet

Meanwhile, investigators are continuing to try to clarify how the bloody crime came about. “What concerns us most is the question of the motive,” said the State Criminal Police Office. Investigators have not yet released any information about the identity of the perpetrator. Numerous questions are still unanswered and are the subject of investigations – for example the origin of the murder weapon. The answers to these questions will also help them to find out whether the arrested man planned the crime or whether it was a spontaneous attack.

“Our thoughts are with everyone who was injured in the knife attack, and my thoughts as Interior Minister are of course especially with the injured police colleague,” said Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) to the “Bild” newspaper. The attack caused horror across the country. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz were also shocked.

The BPE describes itself on its website as a “human rights organization” that educates “about the nature and goals of political Islam.” The BPE does not differentiate between Islam and Islamism – it attributes “aggressive contempt and intolerance” to both, among other things. The political scientist Stürzenberger was temporarily the press spokesman for the CSU in Munich. He later joined the Islam-critical party Die Freiheit, which was dissolved in 2016. Both Stürzenberger and the BPE Bavarian regional association are being monitored by the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Source: Stern

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