Knife attack in Ansbach: the police do not assume a religious motive

A 30-year-old attacked and injured two people in Ansbach, Bavaria, with a knife.

Knife attack in Ansbach: the police do not assume a religious motive

A 30-year-old attacked and injured two people in Ansbach, Bavaria, with a knife. Two rushing police officers are said to have shot him in self-defense. Now there are more clues about the background of the fact.

According to initial findings, the knife attacker from Ansbach did not act out of political or religious motivation. A representative of the criminal police in the Franconian city said that witnesses had heard that the 30-year-old Afghan had called "Allahu Akbar". However, initial evaluations did not provide any indication of an Islamist motive. The attacker injured two young men on Thursday afternoon before he was shot dead by police officers.

Police also believe he acted alone. When evaluating traces, video recordings and his mobile phone, the investigators have so far found no evidence of accomplices or supporters. The 30-year-old came to Germany as an asylum seeker in 2015, as was further reported. Two years ago he was assigned to communal accommodation in Ansbach. His application for asylum was rejected, he was only tolerated in Germany.

His tolerance would have expired in the coming week. One can only speculate about a connection between this situation and the crime, said the representative of the criminal police. The Afghan was only sporadically in Ansbach, he had contacts in the greater Mainz area.

In his room at the shelter, investigators found two packages of antidepressants. There are indications that he was mentally disturbed, said a representative of the Ansbach public prosecutor's office. There has also been a mentoring process before. She emphasized that investigations are being carried out both in this direction and further because of a possible terrorist motive.

The 30-year-old had also been caught seven times with criminal offenses in the past few years. It was mainly about bodily harm as well as sexual harassment and a drug offense, he paid off a fine for sexual harassment.

The police described the course of events on Thursday as dynamic. The emergency call was received shortly before 6 p.m. on Thursday. The 30-year-old knelt on a 17-year-old near the train station and had two large butcher knives with him. A 20-year-old man happened to be there and, with presence of mind, threw himself on the attacker - the prosecutor spoke of "high civil courage".

He was able to wriggle a knife out of the attacker's hand. Other passers-by came, screamed and wanted to help, whereupon the perpetrator ran away. The 20-year-old was slightly injured in the arm and later treated as an outpatient in the hospital, the 17-year-old suffered strangulation marks on his neck.

The police, who arrived shortly afterwards, found the attacker a few hundred meters away. The 30-year-old attacked the officers with the knives, after which two of them fired. Despite rescue efforts, the man died on the spot.

He is now being investigated for attempting to kill the 17-year-old and the police officer, and the criminal police in Nuremberg took over the further investigation. The Bavarian State Criminal Police Office is investigating the two police officers because of the deadly shots. According to the first findings, the public prosecutor assumes that the use of firearms was lawful. "The high level of aggressiveness that can be seen from the pictures clearly justified this obvious use of firearms," ​​said Central Franconia police chief Roman Fertinger.

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