German train attack: Afghan refugee ‘had IS flag in room’
A hand-painted flag of so-called Islamic State has been found in the room of an Afghan asylum seeker accused of carrying out an axe and knife attack on a south German train, officials say.
The 17-year-old injured four people from Hong Kong, one critically, in the attack in Wuerzburg on Monday evening. He was shot dead by police as he fled.
He had shouted Allahu akbar” (“God is great”), a witness said.
The IS-linked Amaq news agency said the teenager was an IS “fighter”.
It said he had “carried out the operation in answer to the calls to target the countries of the coalition fighting the Islamic State”.
The attack comes days after a lorry ploughed into a crowd in Nice in France, killing 84 people. The self-styled Islamic State group said one of its followers had carried out that attack.
Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of the state of Bavaria, said the flag had been found among the teenager’s belongings in his room in his foster home in the nearby town of Ochsenfurt.
A text written in Pashtun was also found, he said, and it showed a strong indication that the teenager “could be a person who had been self-radicalised”.
Mr Herrmann said those who had interacted with the young man in recent months described him as calm and quiet and they could not understand his actions.
The teenager had gone to the mosque “on special occasions”, he said, but no-one had noticed any radical behaviour and there were no signs yet of a direct link to jihadist networks.
Mr Herrmann said there was no indication Chinese citizens had been specifically targeted.
He also defended the police who shot the attacker, saying the teenager had run at officers brandishing the axe.
The Afghan teenager, who had claimed asylum after travelling to Germany a year ago as an unaccompanied minor, had been living with the foster family since moving from a refugee centre in the town two weeks ago.
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. BBC