A Munich train stabbing incident claimed the life of one person and injured several others in a knife attack by a suspected Islamist at the railway station. The suspect reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) as he started stabbing passers-by in the town of Grafing, to the south-east of the German city.
Joachim Herrmann, the Bavarian interior minister, said he had confessed to carrying out the atrocity, CNN reports. He said that the train stabbing suspect was not previously known to police for extremism, but had psychological problems and drug issues.
The Munich train stabbing attack took place at around 4.50 am and the suspected perpetrator was arrested shortly afterwards. The suspect, a 27-year-old German man, has been named locally as Paul H, from Giessen in the state of Hesse.
A newspaper delivery worker was stabbed in the back during the “indiscriminate” assault, a firefighter said. The Munich stabbing started on an S-Bahn train, where the first victim was injured, before the man stabbed another person inside the station and targeted two cyclists, witnesses told local media.
A spokesperson at the Bavarian state criminal investigation office said that a 56-year-old man was initially in a critical condition, but died later in hospital. Three other men aged 43, 55, and 58 were seriously injured at the train station, with one in a life-threatening condition, Reuters reported.
A spokesperson for the state prosecutor’s office confirmed that the Munich train stabbing was believed to have a political or “Islamist background” but could not give any further details. Angelika Obermayr, the mayor of Grafing, said 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 about the stabbing. “That it happened here is completely incomprehensible.”
Dr. Rudiger Grube, the CEO of German railway company Deutsche Bahn, said the firm was “dismayed and saddened” and paid tribute to Munich train station staff who intervened to stop the Munich attacker as he tried to harm more people.
“Our deepest sympathies go to the relatives of the victim and those injured in the attack. My thanks go to our employees, who intervened courageously to prevent the perpetrator from carrying out further attacks.”
German authorities increased the nationwide terror alert level following November’s Paris attacks, increasing security at transport hubs, train stations, tourist attractions and major events. Two railway stations in Munich were evacuated temporarily on New Year’s Eve in an alert over an alleged suicide bombing plot by Isis supporters.
More than 800 German jihadists are believed to have joined the so-called Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Isis has also issued propaganda directed at supporters in the country, including one video calling for them to travel to Syria or wage terror attacks at home.
A German-born militant who grew up in the UK appeared in the footage and spoke about the “staged” experience. The video showed a jihadist calling on supporters, in German, to “pick up a big knife, go down to the streets and slaughter every infidel you encounter.”
However, the Associated Press said authorities have not confirmed any link between the Munich train stabbing in Grafing and Isis. An investigation is still underway in Munich.