A Palestinian seeking asylum in Germany went on a stabbing spree in a Hamburg supermarket on Friday, killing a 50-year old man and injuring six others. Witnesses reported that the 25-year old assailant identified only as Ahmad A. removed a large kitchen knife from the store’s shelves, ripped off the packaging and began lashing out at customers while yelling “Allahu Akhbar” (Allah is greater).
The attack came to an end when Ahmad exited the supermarket and was tackled by bystanders, one of whom, a Turkish man, was injured.
Olaf Scholz, the mayor of Hamburg, said to the media that Ahmad was known to authorities but could not be deported because he did not have personal identity papers. The mayor said Ahmed was motivated by “hate.”
Scholz added, “It makes me especially angry that the perpetrator appears to be a person who claimed protection in Germany and then turned his hate against us.”
Hamburg’s state interior minister Andy Grote said, “there are indications of radicalization”. “He was known as an Islamist but not a jihadist,” adding that the attacker suffered from “psychological issues”. Grote was unsure of the motives for the attack, saying, ““It remains unclear which was the overriding element.”
The attack is being investigated by local police. Federal prosecutors who investigate terror attacks are not investigating the case.
Torsten Voss, director of Hamburg’s state intelligence agency, was quoted in the New York Times as saying that friends of Ahmad had reported him becoming more devout in recent months.
Ahmad was born in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He was seeking asylum in Germany and an evaluation last year stated he was not a threat.