October 22, 2017

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24-Jul-16: In Germany, a gunman with Iranian citizenship kills 9

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Heavy armed security as patrons leave the mall in Munich on
Friday evening [Image Source

Yet another mass-killing of innocent victims in a public European space. Nine dead, 27 injured as of this hour, and ten more critically injured according to BBC. And once more, rapid-fire near-certainty by the local authorities – at least to judge by news reports – that this latest mass-casualty shooting assault, this time by a teen with dual German and Iranian citizenship, has nothing whatever to do with plots or planning or Islamist groups.

This is from Reuters:

World | Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:41pm EDT Related: WORLD | Munich gunman fixated on mass killing, had no Islamist ties | MUNICH | BY JOERN POLTZ AND KARIN STROHECKER | 

A German-Iranian teenager who shot dead nine people in Munich was a deranged lone gunman obsessed with mass killings who drew no inspiration from Islamist militancy, police said on Saturday. The 18-year-old, born and raised locally, opened fire near a busy shopping mall on Friday evening, triggering a lockdown in the Bavarian state capital. Seven of his victims were themselves teenagers, who police said he may have lured to their deaths via a hacked Facebook account on what was the fifth anniversary of twin attacks by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik that killed 77 people. The Munich shooting, in which a further 27 people were wounded, some seriously, was the third act of violence against civilians in Western Europe – and the second in southern Germany – in eight days. Bavarian state crime office president Robert Heimberger said the gunman, who German media named as Ali David Sonboly, was carrying more than 300 bullets in his backpack and pistol when he shot himself. Munich police witnessed the suicide at 8:30 p.m. local time (1830 GMT), the police force said on Saturday.  

Following a police search of the attacker’s room, where a book on teenage shooting sprees was discovered, Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae all but ruled out an Islamist militant link to the attack. “Based on the searches, there are no indications whatsoever that there is a connection to Islamic State” or to the issue of refugees, he told a news conference. “Documents on shooting sprees were found, so the perpetrator obviously researched this subject intensively.”

At the Independent UK, they quote the police saying

there are no indications the gunman had links with Isis, identifying the attack as a “classic shooting rampage” and not terrorism… Police said the victims killed in the massacre included teenagers, with children among the 16 people injured. Video uploaded to social media purportedly shows the attacker shouting “I am German” and “I was born here” after an onlooker shouts xenophobic remarks to him during the attack.

AFP reports the shooter was “quiet [and] helpful… calm and shy… a good person” but also “a bullied teen” who “had been an admirer of another German teenager who shot dead 15 people at his school near Stuttgart in 2009“. And “a shy boy” who “laughed like a normal person“.

And this from a United Arab Emirates news report tonight:

He was born a Shiite and his parents think he may have converted to Christianity at some point, but what really fascinated Ali David Sonboly was mass killers. On Friday, the 18-year-old became one himself when he gunned down nine people in a shopping centre in Munich. The police who raided Sonboly’s home in Munich found nothing to indicate any interest in extremist causes but much evidence of an obsession with mass killers. In his bedroom they found a stash of books and documents about so-called “spree shootings” and including a German translation of Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters. Written in 2010 by Dr Peter Langman, the book examines the phenomenon of teenage murderers with particular reference to the Virginia Tech and Columbine school massacres in the United States. Sonboly also admired the 17-year-old German who shot dead 15 people at his school near Stuttgart in 2009… 

Did he shout “Allahu Akbar” as he fired at his unarmed victims? Yes, according to this report.

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