German intelligence agencies ‘knew about Hamburg attacker’

July 30, 2017 7:14 pm

Police cordon off the area around a supermarket in the northern German city of Hamburg, where a man killed one person and wounded several others in a knife attack, July 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The man who killed one person and injured six others in a knife attack in the German city of Hamburg had been known to intelligence authorities in , an official says.
The 26-year-old man, identified as Ahmad A., attacked customers at random at a German chain store before he was overpowered by passersby on Friday.
Born to Palestinian parents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he had been known to intelligence agencies as a radicalized individual but was not believed to pose an immediate threat, said Hamburg Interior Minister Andy Grote.
Grote told a conference that the attacker had been registered in intelligence systems as a radical but not a violent one as there was no evidence to link him to an imminent attack.
The attack has now been interpreted as the result of a security lapse.
The Hamburg interior minister said Ahmad had “psychological” issues as well.
The attack happened in the Barmbek region in the north of the city in a branch of Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket chain. Ahmad entered the supermarket and took a kitchen knife, measuring around 20 cm in length, from the shelf for his attack.
“He ripped off the packaging and then suddenly brutally attacked the 50-year-old man who later died,” police spokeswoman Kathrin Hennings said.
A 50-year-old woman and five men aged between 19 and 64 were injured in the attack.
There have been several attacks by rejected asylum seekers in recent months.
A Tunisian man drove a truck into a busy Christmas market in the heart of Berlin in December 2016, killing 14 people. In July 2016, a teenage Afghan refugee armed with an axe and a knife injured four people on a train in the southern German city of Wuerzburg before being shot dead by police.
Security has been tight in Germany in the wake of the spate of attacks.
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