Friday, March 10, 2017

What is going on in Germany? An ax attack, a machete attack and a gas attack, all in the past 24 hours.

German Police respond in the Dusseldorf train station. AFP. 

Germany has had three attacks in the past 24 hours, the worst of which was an ax attack at the main Dusseldorf train station. AFP. Nine people were wounded in the attack which ended when the suspect jumped off of a bridge and was captured. German officials claim that the suspect was "mentally ill" and was attempting to commit suicide by cop. The suspect, in accordance with German privacy laws, was identified as Fatmir H. who arrived in Germany for "humanitarian" reasons from Kosovo. 

In a second attack in Dusseldorf, an 80 year old man was attacked with a machete. Metro. Police stress that they don't think that this attack was related to the ax attack. No one has been arrested as of this writing and the suspect is on the run. Students and a nearby school were locked down as the crime was investigated. 

At least four adults and two children were treated for injuries after the attack which occurred at an underground stop for the train. Two "youths" were suspected of the attack but they were able to escape. 

My Comment:
I decided to write this up because if you look at the national media, you might be able to find a few links to the first ax attack. The 2nd machete attack was a lot harder to find, and if I hadn't seen a tweet from I wouldn't have even known that the third attack, involving the tear gas, had even happened. I understand there is the argument that you don't want to cause panic but three attacks in about 24 hours is a major deal and it should be covered. 

I will also say that I didn't have access to my normal sources because they didn't cover the story. The only reliable source I found for any of the attacks was AFP. I don't know the reputation of Metro or I think the stories are accurate though.  

It's fairly amazing that nobody was killed in any of these attacks. Getting attacked by an ax is often lethal and a machete is no better. And though the chances of dying in a tear gas attack are extremely low, it could have happened. Though many people were severely wounded, I am thankful that nobody was killed so far. Still, these were very serious incidents. 

Police are saying that they don't suspect terrorism in any of these cases. I am skeptical to say the least. Let's cover the ax attack first. The suspect, Fatmir H. was from Kosovo. Kosovo is 95% Muslim, with only tiny minorities of non Muslims.  While that doesn't prove that there is a religious or political motivation, it does make it more likely. 

German police claim that Fatmir was mentally ill and wanted to commit suicide by cop. This does not rule out a terrorist motivation. Indeed, terrorist groups like ISIS often recruits people with mental health issues. After all, it's hard to get a mentally healthy person to go on a rampage. It is also possible that the attacker was just influenced by ISIS propaganda and wanted to die as a martyr. 

Without a suspect in custody, I won't speculate too much on the motivations in the other two attacks. The machete attack certainly looks like a terrorist inspired attack, but without more information it could just be a random murder attempt. The gas attack could be anything from a legit terror attack to a couple of kids being idiots. 

I don't think there are any links between the attacks. All of them seem like "lone wolf" attacks. If there is any connection at all, I think that there is a possibility that the 2nd and 3rd attacks were inspired by the first. That doesn't seem too likely, but it is possible that someone who was likely planning an attack anyways and moved it up because of the first attack. I'd be shocked if there was anymore of a connection than that.

I do have to say that even if no connection to terrorism is found, the 1st attack shows that there are consequences to Germany's immigration policy. Even if Fatmir was not inspired by terrorism, he was someone who was allowed into the country on humanitarian grounds. That descion had serious consequences for the nine people wounded in this attack...

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