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22 Oct, 2020 17:48

ISIS-linked stabbing suspect monitored on day of Dresden attack right after he left prison, police chief reveals

ISIS-linked stabbing suspect monitored on day of Dresden attack right after he left prison, police chief reveals

A man suspected of killing one person and seriously injuring another in Dresden this month was under observation by German intelligence at the time of the attack, says the region’s head of police.

Law enforcement agents arrested a 20-year-old Syrian man on Tuesday in connection with the double stabbing on October 4, with prosecutors saying he has an Islamist background.

The suspect was being monitored by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency on the very day of the attack, following his release from prison just days before, the state of Saxony’s head of police, Petric Kleine, confirmed on Thursday.

He added that the man was on security officials’ radar as early as 2017. Police said that some 600 suspected Islamists in Germany are classed as posing a threat to the public.

The suspect, who arrived in Germany in 2015, is being held over the stabbing of a 55-year-old tourist from Krefeld, who died in hospital from his injuries, and the serious wounding of a 53-year-old from Cologne.

The man was released from prison in late September, after serving a two-year sentence for promoting the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group, according to local reports. In 2019, his refugee status was revoked, due to his criminal record.

Kleine said the authorities had flagged up that the man was likely to commit further offences on his release. The head of the Saxony branch of the domestic intelligence agency, Dirk-Martin Christian, stated that round-the-clock surveillance had not been in place, but did not comment further.

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