German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that it is clear the attacker was motivated out of racism and ethnic hatred, targeting the innocent with an anti-foreigner motive. She called for the “poison” of racism to be harshly dealt with in Germany after these horrifying attacks.
A suspected far-right extremist has killed at least nine people in Germany in what many are labelling a terrorist attack with ‘xenophobic’ motives. Prosecutors are treating the attack as a terrorist attack, with at least five of those murdered of Turkish nationality.
Attacking two shisha bars in the city of Hanau, the terrorist first began shooting around 10PM on Wednesday at the Midnight shisha bar in the city center of Hanau, located about 25km east of Frankfurt. Witnesses have reported to hearing dozens of gunshots during the attack. He then moved on to the Kesselstadt neighborhood, where he opened fire at the Arena Bar & Cafe.
The attacker has been identified as German citizen Tobias R, 43, who was found dead at his home alongside the body of his mother after police tracked him down in the early hours of Thursday morning. He reportedly had a firearms licence, and gun magazines and ammunition were later found in his car.
Most worrying, however, was that the attacker had reportedly expressed extreme right-wing motivations and views in a confession letter left behind. He had also reportedly left behind a video explaining his motives, however the video was taken down on Thursday morning and is believed to be part of the ongoing investigation.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that it is clear the attacker was motivated out of racism and ethnic hatred, targeting the innocent with an anti-foreigner motive. She called for the “poison” of racism to be harshly dealt with in Germany after these horrifying attacks:
There are many indications at the moment that the perpetrator acted on right-wing extremist, racist motives, out of hatred towards people of other origins, religion or appearance. Racism is a poison. Hate is a poison and this poison exists in our society and is already to blame for many crimes.”
Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth also stated in regards to the motive behind the terrorist attack that xenophobia and racism played a major role: “What we know so far is that there is definitely a xenophobic motive. Whether there are claims of responsibility or documents, that’s still being investigated”. The suspect was reportedly unknown to authorities before the attack, and the investigation remains ongoing.
Far-Right Terrorist Group in Germany Arrested for Planning Mosque Attacks
With mass arrests of far-right extremists planning nationwide attacks on mosques only a few days ago in Germany, this latest attack only highlights the country’s growing catastrophic issue with the far-right and neo-Nazism. It remains to be seen what the wider reaction from Germany will be in regards to far-right and xenophobic rhetoric.