After the Monday’s attack, the German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, has warned that Germans should be prepared for further attacks carried out by small groups and radicalized “lone wolves”.
On July 18, 17-year-old Muhammad Riyad, who went on the rampage on a train in the southern state of Bavaria, wounded five people; two of them are in critical condition. The attacker arrived in Germany in 2015 as a migrant. He was shot dead holding an axe and a knife. In the video that emerged after the attack, the teenager said that he was a soldier of so-called Islamic State (IS).
According to German officials, four of the five wounded people were a family from Hong Kong. However, there was no indication that the family had been targeted specifically due to their race.
The German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, has said the attacker was not following the militant group’s orders, but had been just “incited” by IS propaganda, despite the fact that the teenager has been claimed by IS as its follower through its news agency. In addition, witnesses said that Muhammad Riyadh screamed “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) three times, as well as a hand-painted IS flag was found in his room.
However, as BBC reported on Wednesday, no concrete link has yet been established with IS, and German intelligence didn’t know him.
Thomas de Maiziere said the government was doing all it could to prevent such attacks, but there could be no guarantee.
“In Germany we must also expect attacks by small groups or radicalised ‘lone-wolf’ attackers,” BBC quoted his words.
Muhammad Riyadh had only just moved to a foster family in Wuerzburg from a refugee centre at Ochsenfurt south of Frankfurt. He was described as a quiet boy who had not displayed any radical behavior. While everyone thought that the boy came from Afghanistan, a Pakistani document was found in his room. It is common knowledge that Afghan refugees are more likely to be given asylum in Germany than irregular migrants from Pakistan, so there have been many cases of migrants pretending to come from Afghanistan.
In addition, the words that Riyadh used speaking in the video are typical words for Pakistan. His use of the Pashto language suggests he at least spent some time in Pakistan.
Last year Germany registered more than one million migrants, including more than 150,000 Afghans, although the number has slowed dramatically this year since new EU measures were taken to stop the flow.