German synagogue shooting far-right terror attack committed by lone guman, ministry says

  • 21:44 10 October 2019

German synagogue shooting far-right terror attack committed by lone guman, ministry says

The shooting attack in Halle is an act of right-wing terrorism committed by a lone gunman, Germany’s Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Christine Lambrecht said at a news conference on Thursday, ONA reports citing TASS.

"The issue concerns an extreme right-wing terror attack committed by one criminal," she said. "We presume that in his actions he was guided by anti-Semitic, right-extremist motives and targeted the Jewish community in the synagogue in Halle," Lambrecht highlighted. "A coincidence prevented him from entering the synagogue," she added.

She said that the incident showed that Germany’s authorities should undertake more efforts to protect Jews in Germany. "Providing the possibility of a safe life for Jews in Germany is one of our state’s priorities," Lambrecht said. "We are all obliged to act by recognizing our responsibility," the minister highlighted.

Four kilos of explosives

Germany’s Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank said, for his part, that about 4 kg of explosives had been found in the suspect’s car. "He wanted to enter it - the synagogue - and kill a great number of people there," he said. "What we faced yesterday is terror," Frank stressed. "According to our information, suspect Stephan B. was going to commit a massacre in the synagogue in Halle," he added. The public prosecutor general added that the wrong-doer was carrying numerous arms with him and acted under the scenario of the gunner from New Zealand’s Christchurch, who had carried out terror attacks in mosques.

"According to our assessment, Stephan B. wanted to achieve effect across the world by directly filming his actions, his comments, the manifesto and the plan that he had previously spread on the Internet," Frank noted. He said that the suspect wanted to copy other criminals who committed such attacks. "And he also wanted to compel others into committing such crimes," he highlighted.

The public prosecutor’s office charged Stephan B. with "murder" in two cases and "attempted murder" in nine cases, as well as other violations, Frank reported. He confirmed that security forces searched the suspect’s flat. The analysis of the evidence found there continues. The law enforcement bodies are to determine whether Stephan B. had any accomplices, how the suspect got the arms and the way his radicalization occurred.

On October 9, shooting occurred near a synagogue and a Turkish kebab shop in Halle, in which two people were killed. The attack was carried out on Yom Kippur - the day of fasting, penance and absolution of past sins in Judaism. The police detained the suspect, German citizen Stephan B.

According to investigators, he tried to enter the synagogue in Halle where there were more than 50 people at the moment, but he failed to do it, as the doors had been barricaded from the inside. After a failed attempt Stephan B. killed a female passer-by and opened fire on a Turkish kebab shop. The suspect was shooting a movie record of his actions and directly transmitting it through streaming service Twitch.

Faig Mahmudov