‘Surprise the unbelievers’: 15yo German girl knifed policewoman ‘under orders from ISIS’

© Axel Schmidt
A teenage girl from Germany who stabbed a policewoman in the neck in February in Hannover could have been acting under orders from Islamic State, according to media reports. It also emerged the girl praised the Paris attacks, calling the date “her favorite day.”

The 15-year-old girl, Safia S., said she had traveled to Turkey and had been in contact with members of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and broadcasters WDR and NDR reported after they were able to access chat logs between the teenager and another Islamist in the central German city of Hanover. 

These revelations show that Safia may not only have been inspired by the terrorist group, but had also been under their orders to carry out attacks. 

The conversations on the chat logs reveal that the 15-year-old was persuaded to return home to Germany from Turkey, following a “change of plans” rather than head towards Syria. 

IS members are alleged to have told her that “it would be of great use” and that she could “surprise the unbelievers.” Her mother eventually flew to Turkey to pick her up and take her back home. 

However, shortly after arriving back in Hanover, she stabbed a policewoman in the throat near the city’s main train station with a knife. The woman suffered life-threatening injuries, but eventually made a full recovery after undergoing surgery. 

Initially investigators examined whether there could have been a “possible political or religious motivation” for the attack, AFP reported. 

The new revelations appear to suggest that the operation may have been planned in advance. The chat logs show Safia talking about a “martyrdom operation.” She also described the November 13 Paris terror attacks, which killed 130 people as being “her favorite day.” This was due to the fact that “our lions were in action in Paris.” 

Safia has been charged with attempted murder and for supporting a foreign terrorist organization. However, her lawyer Mutlu Gunal has dismissed the charges, calling them “nonsense.” He says that his client had not received any instructions from IS to carry out an attack on German soil. 

In April, Germany’s domestic intelligence chief warned that IS militants could look to attack German cities in the future, while the terrorist group was also looking to attracted new recruits from migrants who had just arrived in the country. 

“Islamic State [IS, previously ISIS/ISIL] is willing to carry out attacks on Germany and German interests,” Hans-Georg Maassen told Die Welt newspaper. 

The homeland security chief said airports and railway stations, as well as large-scale public events such as open air fests, were the most likely targets for potential attacks. In addition, Maassen stressed that “we’ve seen many times that those [German nationals] who returned from Syria had links to planning attacks in Germany.”