Munich knife attack: Man who killed one and injured three in stabbing at Grafing station 'has no terrorist links'

Investigators said no connections to  Islamist or Salafist groups had been found

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 10 May 2016 15:00
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A German man who killed one victim and injured three more in a stabbing attack at a railway station had no links to terror networks, authorities have said.

Lothar Köhler, from the Bavarian criminal investigation office, said there was no indication that the 27-year-old man had connections with any Islamist or Salafist groups or “the scene” in general.

“That the attacker shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ has been confirmed by witnesses and also by the perpetrator himself,” he told a press conference.

Munich knife attack

Survivors of the attack at Grafing station, near Munich, also reported the man shouting: “You are infidels, you must die!”

Mr Köhler said police were investigating whether the suspect was a Muslim convert following comments made in an interview, during which he admitted the attack.

Authorities did not confirm the full name of the suspect, who was arrested at the scene of the attack shortly after 5am local time (4am BST).

He has been named locally as Paul H and authorities confirmed he is a German citizen from Giessen, in the state of Hesse.

The man is a trained carpenter but has been unemployed for two years, according to investigators, who said he had recently undergone psychiatric treatment and was known to have taken an unspecified drug two days before the attack.

It was unclear whether he was still under the influence of any substances.

Ken Heidenreich, from the prosecutor’s office, said officials are investigating potential charges of murder and attempted murder.

But he added that there were questions over whether the "confused" suspect could be held criminally responsible and said evaluations were underway over whether he should be taken to a psychiatric facility.

Officials said the suspect had arrived at Grafing station overnight, having been unable to afford a hotel in Munich, and launched his attack on the morning’s first S-Bahn train toward the city centre.

A rucksack containing his passport, driver’s licence, documents and shoes were found near the scene, said Günther Gietl, the Vice President of Bavaria's police force.

Carrying a 10cm-long “survival knife”, the man attacked his first victim on the stationary train, before stabbing another man on a platform and targeting two cyclists on the station forecourt.

Two bicycles at the scene of a deadly knife attack at a railway station in Grafing, Bavaria, on 10 May 2016

He was barefoot at the time, and photos of the crime scene showed bloody footprints leading away from a train door and on to the platform where he continued the attack.

When asked why he was not wearing shoes, the suspect told police “he felt bugs on his feet that had caused blisters and were generating intense heat".

A 56-year-old man died in hospital, while three other victims aged 43, 55 and 58 were wounded, one seriously.

Angelika Obermayr, the mayor of Grafing, told N-TV local people were in shock in the “quiet little town”.

“Something like this is completely new and has shaken people deeply - it is something you only see on television,” she added.

“That it happened here is completely incomprehensible.”

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