Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Muenster attacker was lone German with mental health problems: Minister

Muenster attacker was lone German with mental health problems: Minister

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle adds that police are describing this as a "close call", and police believe that the main suspect is linked to Anis Amri, the terrorist who executed the truck attack on a German Christmas market that killed several people in 2016.

He was previously accused of fraud and a hit-and-run as well as making threats and damaging property - but all charges were dismissed.

A court last month sentenced a man to life in prison for killing one and wounding six others with a knife in a Hamburg supermarket out of a "jihadist" motive last July.

Police spokesman Peter Nuessmeyer told The Associated Press that he could not confirm German media reports that the perpetrator reportedly had psychological issues.

Authorities said of the 20 injured people, six are in severe condition, according to the AP.

"As of now, we don't have any leads regarding a possible background for the deed", prosecutor Martin Botzenhardt wrote in a joint statement with police.

Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state, where Muenster is located, visited the crash scene on Sunday.

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In the end, they found only the weapon used by the 48-year-old driver to kill himself, a blank-firing pistol and some powerful fireworks.

Bishop Felix Genn preached Sunday night at the city's famous Paulus Cathedral, where the 700 seats were packed. "And also the people of The Netherlands, who were sitting here and became victims".

"This cowardly and brutal crime has shocked all of us", said German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who placed flowers at the crash site Sunday.

Der Spiegel reported that police were investigating a similar incident that occurred in the eastern German city of Cottbus on Friday evening, when a man drove his vehicle into a group of people, injuring two, before fleeing. The German news agency dpa reports that police confirmed arrests in connection with the half-marathon but did not elaborate. After a foreign intelligence service tipped off German authorities that he was planning to attack the half-marathon, police raided apartments and two vehicles in the Charlottenburg and Neukoelln districts of the city.

Two people have died after a man drove a van into a group of people outside a busy restaurant in western Germany on Saturday.

Armed police cordoned off a wide area around the scene of the attack, urging residents to avoid the city centre to allow investigators to get to work amid initial fears the country had suffered another extremist assault.

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