Skip to main content

IS releases video of Afghan axe attacker in Germany

IS-affiliated Amaq media agency shows video of refugee who perpetrated the first major attack in Germany by the militant group
A screengrab of the video released by the IS-linked agency Amaq featuring Mohammed Riyadh (AFP)

The Islamic State (IS) group on Tuesday released a video allegedly showing the Afghan refugee who slashed people on a German train with an axe and knife, saying he would carry out the attack.

The video released by IS's Amaq news agency, subtitled in Arabic, shows teenager “Mohammed Riyadh” announcing in Pashto, with a knife in hand, that he would carry out an “operation” in Germany, and presenting himself as a “soldier of the caliphate”.

Amaq had earlier said the assailant, who seriously wounded four tourists from Hong Kong while wielding an axe and a knife, was “one of the fighters of the Islamic State”.

In the video that lasts two minutes 20 seconds, the 17-year-old says "soldiers of the caliphate" will attack "infidels" everywhere.

On Monday at 9.15pm he seriously injured four passengers on a local train between the town of Treuchtlingen and Wuerzburg in Bavaria, southern Germany.

The attack appeared to be the first time IS had claimed an attack in Germany.

Authorities in Germany said they had found a hand-painted IS flag among the belongings of the asylum-seeker, who was killed by police as he tried to flee after the attack.

Germany has not been a target of major attacks, but in May, a mentally unstable 27-year-old man wielding a knife killed one person and injured three others on another Bavarian regional train.

In February, a 15-year-old girl of Turkish origin stabbed a policeman in the neck with a kitchen knife at Hanover train station in what prosecutors later said was an IS-inspired attack.

And police in April arrested two 16-year-olds over an explosion that wounded three people at a Sikh temple, in what was believed to be an IS-motivated attack against an Indian wedding party in the western city of Essen.

Germany let in nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers last year, with Syrians being the largest group followed by Afghans, with the latest attack sparking fears of rising anti-refugee sentiment in Germany.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.