German supermarket stabbing suspect admits to religious motives

Berlin, Jan 12 (IANS) The trial of a man accused of stabbing a man to death and injuring six others in a German supermarket last year began on Friday with a long confession by the suspect, who admitted he was motivated by religious extremism and lamented that he had not hurt more people.

The accused, a 26-year-old Palestinian identified as Ahmed A., was arrested immediately after the stabbing attack at a Hamburg supermarket on July 28, 2017, Efe news agency reported.

He pleaded guilty to all charges brought by the prosecutor, including homicide, multiple attempted homicide and subscribing to Islamist ideology, and said via his lawyer that he acted for religious reasons.

The defence said the attack had occurred at a moment of extreme tension for Ahmed.

The victim was a 50-year-old man who he threw himself at without saying a word before indiscriminately attacking the other six with the intention of killing “as many Christians as possible”, according to his testimony.

The attack lasted two minutes and was carried out with a 20-cm (8-inch) knife he had stolen earlier from that same supermarket.

The accused claimed allegiance to the Islamic State terror organisation, though no direct links to militants have been found.

At the hostel where he had been assigned to live by immigration authorities, which houses some 600 asylum seekers, he was purportedly known for his unstable behaviour.

He entered Germany in 2015 and requested asylum, but was in 2016 alerted that his request had been denied and he would be deported.

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