No Islamist motive: man stabs passengers in train

In a regional train near Aachen, a 31-year-old injured five passengers with a knife.

No Islamist motive: man stabs passengers in train

In a regional train near Aachen, a 31-year-old injured five passengers with a knife. Four of them require hospital treatment. The Iraqi-born man became known to the authorities in 2017 as a "test case Islamism". However, an Islamist background to the crime is not discernible.

A man stabbed travelers with a knife on a regional train near Aachen in the morning. Five people and himself were injured. The perpetrator is a 31-year-old man who was born in Iraq, as NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul announced. His nationality is currently being checked. When investigating a possible Islamist background, investigators found no evidence. "So far we have nothing reliable for an Islamist motive for the crime," said a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor's office in Aachen in the evening.

However, there are indications that question the suspect's criminal responsibility. That is why it is now being checked. Investigated because of an attempted homicide. It will be decided by this Saturday at the latest whether an arrest warrant will be issued against the man or whether he will be placed in a psychiatric ward.

According to initial investigations, the man had pulled a knife on the Euregiobahn RE4 around 7.40 a.m. shortly after leaving the Herzogenrath station and cut fellow passengers. A federal police officer who happened to be sitting on the train and who was on his way to his office overpowered and arrested the man, the Cologne police said. The victims suffered lacerations, one a stab wound. Four travelers were taken to a hospital, their lives were not in danger.

The 31-year-old stabbed passengers "indiscriminately and arbitrarily" and the interior minister said the victims and perpetrators had no relationship to one another. The Iraqi had come up with the authorities in 2017 as a so-called "Islamism test case", as Reul further announced. At the time, the man was living in a refugee home and had changed a lot, including growing a beard. The home then informed the authorities. It is now necessary to determine whether there really was an Islamist motive for the current act.

It was "a cruel act that could be stopped in an act of enormous courage," Reul said. Accordingly, the perpetrator had been overpowered by the federal police officer and two other passengers. According to the police, they were at the scene with strong forces and spoke to witnesses. The railway line near Herzogenrath initially remained closed.


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