Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Germany has had a rough weekend lately, with three distinct incidents of violence throughout its territory. Even worse, all suspects involved were either Middle Eastern asylum seekers or possessing dual citizenship from that region, according to CNN. As alarm and uncertainty grips the country there are concerns on whether these tragedies are a systematic attack or simply a chain of unfortunate circumstances.

Friday July 22 may have been the major event in this recent rash of troubles, as a teenager with an unhealthy obsession for mass shooting incidents around the world went on a rampage in a Munich shopping mall, killing nine people and injuring 16 more before committing suicide just as police were closing in. Subsequent investigation revealed that the youth held dual German and Iranian citizenship and a long-time resident of Munich. He also appeared to have planned his wild assault well in advance, over the course of a year. The final trigger for the mass shooting was apparently the young man’s reaction to news that an Afghan acquaintance of his was arrested by local police under suspicion of being an accessory to a crime.

The Munich shooter’s case is somewhat unique in that he perpetrated the attack on his own initiative and with no grander ideal despite his Middle Eastern ethnicity. This is in stark contrast to another incident in Germany earlier in the week when a train travelling from Wurzburg to Treuchtlingen was assaulted by a 17-year old Pakistani immigrant who has fallen in with the radical and violent indoctrination of ISIS, even going so far as to leave a farewell video speaking of his planned suicide attack. The youth hacked up five people with an ax until he was shot dead by responding police. His actions were even acknowledged by ISIS on their website as a legitimate terror attack.

On the afternoon of Sunday July 24, a Syrian seeking asylum in Germany and working at a kebab shop in Reutlingen attacked and killed a female co-worker whom he claims to have been in love with after a fierce argument in their workplace. The attacker injured another two people with a meat cleaver before running into the street, where a motorist ran into him with a car, stunning the man long enough for police to arrest him. The fatality, a woman from Poland, was reported by The Telegraph to have been pregnant when she was killed. Police would classify the incident as a “crime of passion”.

The latest bit of chaos for the German weekend took place in the evening of that same Sunday in Ansbach near Nuremberg, where a disgruntled 27-year old Syrian who had recently been denied political asylum vented his frustration by detonating a bomb outside a local music festival, wounding 12 people. If it was any consolation, the sole death was the bomber himself. While this was not classified as a major terror attack, it was also clear from the presence of small metal items loaded in the suspect’s backpack carrying the bomb that he was planning to kill people along with his suicide. Authorities continue to investigate the man and his background. Hopefully this does not spell the beginning of something worse for Germany and the rest of terror attack-riddled Europe.

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