A machete-wielding man has killed 1 and injured several others after going on the rampage through a German supermarket this afternoon. The attacker, who reportedly screamed Allahu Akbar, ran into an Edeka shop in northern city of Hamburg and knifed a customer to death before slashing at 4 others as he fled. He ran off but was pursued by passers by who wrestled him to ground and called police who made an arrest. Heavily armed officers have locked the area down and police helicopters have been seen above crime scene. A motive for knifing has not yet been established.
According to Bild, the man shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he launched the attack in a branch of Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket. A witness said ‘The man has suddenly struck out on customers, there was one dead and several injured.’ A major manhunt got underway and 30 minutes later photos emerged of a suspect covered in blood, with a white bag over his head in a police vehicle. He is understood to have suffered minor injuries as he was being held by bystanders. Hamburg police wrote on Twitter that there was only one attacker and that the motive for the incident in Hamburg’s Barmbek district wasn’t immediately clear. They said that ‘initial reports about robbery as a possible motive so far have not been confirmed.’
In both of these cases, attackers had been asylum seekers, but prosecutors think they were radicalised in Germany and not deployed from abroad to commit attacks, like the jihadists behind the November 2015 Paris attacks were. Police have been on high alert in Germany since a spate of attacks on civilians last year, including December attack on a Berlin Christmas market, when a hijacked truck ploughed into the crowds, killing 12 and injuring some others. ISIS claimed responsibility for the carnage carried out by Tunisian rejected asylum seeker and ex-convict, Anis Amri 24 years old. It was Germany’s deadliest attack by Islamic militants, but not the first one. In 2016, ISIS also claimed a bomb attack in the southern city of Ansbach which wounded 15 people and killed Syrian attacker and an Afghan man’s axe rampage on a train in Bavaria that wounded 5, before the perpetrator was shot dead by police.
Germany’s domestic intelligence service estimates there are about 10’000 radical Islamists in the country, including 1’600 who are considered potentially violent. Public fears about more extremist violence have grown amid Germany’s mass influx of refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and African countries too. Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany’s borders in 2015, bringing more than a million asylum seekers to Germany since. Germany is a target for jihadist groups, particularly because of its reconnaissance and refuelling missions to support coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria and because it has deployed troops in Afghanistan since 2001.