German axe attacker registered in Hungary as a refugee

July 22, 2016

The attacker injured five people on a train

The 17-year-old from Afghanistan who injured five people on a German train with a knife and ax was registered in Hungary as a refugee, wrote German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

According to witnesses, Riaz Khan Ahmadzai shouted “Allahu akbar/God is great” before attacking a family from Hong Kong in the town of Würzburg on Monday. He was later shot dead by police as he attempted to flee.

The so-called Islamic State later released a video of the young man brandishing a knife, saying he is an “IS soldier” preparing for a suicide mission.

According to FAZ, Ahmadzai was registered as a refugee in Hungary where he arrived last year. His fingerprints were taken by Hungarian authorities and sent to the common European refugee database. The teenager later travelled to Germany where no further checks were carried out.

Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria state, said the assailant had arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Germany and had lived at first in a shelter and then more recently with a foster family in nearby Ochsenfurt.

The German daily warned that, as in the teenager’s case, the identity of many refugees is still not clear. Police started taking their fingerprints after border controls were introduced, but since 77 percent of arrivals have no documents (or their papers are forged), authorities cannot identify them or the countries they came from.

Meanwhile, German church representatives urged people not to turn against Muslim refugees and asylum seekers.

Markus Hauck, spokesman for Germany’s Würzburg diocese, where the incident occurred, said it was important not to use the incident “as a general indictment against refugees. It would be much more dangerous to suggest they all pose some kind of danger.

“Catholics are shocked; people assume acts of terrorism only happen in large cities, not in a small town like ours,” Hauck told Catholic News Service.

Hungarian authorities have not commented on the FAZ article yet, but according to Hungarian news website, the government has decided to increase the amount spent on “irregular migration pressure” by more than HUF 10 billion (USD 36 million).