Neo-Nazi admits deadly Germany synagogue attack

Stephan Balliet tells court shootings were motivated by antisemitism

Chris Baynes
Friday 11 October 2019 11:25 BST
Halle shooting: Footage appears to show man in helmet firing gun over top of car

A neo-Nazi accused of killing two people in a shooting near a synagogue in the German city of Halle has admitted to the antisemitic attack.

Stephan Balliet reportedly gave a detailed account of the attack, which he live-streamed after publishing a racist “manifesto” online, to a judge at Germany‘s federal court of justice.

The federal prosecutor’s office confirmed following Thursday evening’s court hearing that the 27-year-old had confessed to the crime and its antisemitic motive.

Bailliet attempted to storm a synagogue on Wednesday but was unable to break into the building. He shot dead a female passerby and a man in a Turkish kebab shop before fleeing a hijacked taxi after his homemade gun jammed.

He was arrested after crashing about 10 miles south of Halle, in central Germany.

Balliet has been charged with two counts of murder and the attempted murder of nine other people who were injured.

He gave an “extensive” account of the attack to an investigative judge during a court hearing which lasted for several hours on Thursday evening, according to German media reports.

The country’s chief federal prosecutor, Peter Frank, has said Balliet was motivated by “antisemitism, xenophobia and racism” and wanted to incite copycat attacks.

Stephan Balliet, 27, has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out the Halle attack on 9 October 2019

Investigators have seized evidence from the Halle flat he shared with his mother, including the 3D printer he is thought to have used to make the homemade weapons.

In an 11-page manifesto, containing frequent references to the gaming and online messageboard communities he seemingly frequented, Balliet outlined plans to massacre worshippers inside the synagogue on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

In footage broadcast live over streaming platform Twitch, he repeatedly called himself a “loser” for failing to break into the synagogue or kill more people.

The livestream stopped after Balliet dumped his helmet-mounted camera and abandoned his car while fleeing the scene of the shooting. Police found 4kg of explosives in the car.

Detectives are looking to establish how Balliet was radicalised, how he obtained materials for the weapons and explosives, and whether anyone else knew of his plan to kill.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Balliet's mother claimed he had nearly died taking drugs in his early 20s and emerged a different person.

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