Hamburg knife attacker wanted to kill Christians to avenge Muslim injustices – prosecutors
According to prosecutors cited by AP, the suspect – identified only as Ahmad A. – considered his actions to be a "contribution to a worldwide jihad." However, they said there is currently no evidence to suggest he had the support of any extremist group.
Prosecutors said in a Friday statement that they were formally indicting Ahmad A., a failed asylum seeker of Palestinian origin who was born in the United Arab Emirates. He is being charged with one count of murder, six counts of attempted murder and six counts of serious bodily harm.
The crimes committed by Ahmad A. occurred when he entered a branch of the supermarket chain Edeka in Hamburg in July, grabbing a knife with a 20cm blade from the shelves. He attacked a 50-year-old customer who later died from the injuries he sustained.
The attacker then continued on his stabbing spree, injuring five others. Another man was hurt while overpowering Ahmad A. in the street alongside other bystanders.
Witnesses told AFP at the time that the suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he fled the supermarket. They told German media that people ran after the suspect with improvised weapons including chairs and sticks, to prevent him from getting away.
Germany has been on high alert since a lorry plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016. Twelve people were killed in that attack.