Wednesday

18th Jan 2017

Munich attack might not have been terrorism

  • Nine people were killed in a fast-food restaurant at Munich's biggest shopping centre (Photo: Reuters)

Nine people were killed and 21 injured on Friday evening (22 July) when a man shot at customers in a fast-food restaurant in Munich, Germany, in what authorities said might not have been a terrorist attack.

The killer, an 18-year old German-Iranian man who lived with his parents, was found dead about one kilometre away from the scene of the attack after apparently having committed suicide.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The shooting took place at around 6PM at the Olympia shopping arcade, Bavaria's largest, near the Olympic stadium outside the city centre.

"The motive, and the background of the crime are still totally unclear. The investigators are working full tilt and will continue into the night," Munich police chief Hubertus Andra told journalists late on Friday.

The shooting prompted panic in Bavaria's main city. First reports said there had been three attackers, with automatic rifles, indicating a coordinated, Paris-type terrorist assault.

Some 2,300 security forces were deployed to secure the city.

Public transport and Munich's train station were closed until Saturday morning and at one point during the evening. Police also asked drivers to leave the motorways.

At the time the police said there was an "acute terror threat". But at his later press conference, police chief Andra said authorities were now talking about "a shooting" and that the investigation should help to shed light on the killer's motives.

A video released by German media showed the killer speaking to a man on a balcony. He said he was German and that he had had hospital treatment.

German president Joachim Gauck said he was "horrified by the murderous attack".

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had just started her holidays, did not speak to media, but will chair a security council in Berlin on Saturday. Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere came back from the US.

The shooting took place four days after another attack in Bavaria, on Monday, when a 17-year old Afghan or Pakistani minor injured five people in a train with an axe and a knife before being shot dead by police.

He had left a letter and a video on YouTube which De Maiziere said was a "classical farewell video" of a suicide attacker from the Islamic State jihadist group (IS).

The video however did not contain "any indications” as to whether he had on an IS order or had merely claimed to act on behalf of IS, the minister added.

Estonia joins US in passing Magnitsky law

Estonia has voted to ban entry to foreigners deemed guilty of human rights abuses in a law targeting Russia and inspired by the Magnitsky case.

Children's rights at risk in EU hotspots

Lack of lawyers and other staff has caused logjams on asylum claims, which particularly hurt children, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency told MEPs.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey