Following speculations over the motives and intentions of the axe-wielding Afghan refugee who attacked passengers on a German train before he was shot down by the police, the Islamic State on Tuesday claimed responsibilityfor his actions via its online new agency, Amaq News Agency.
According to the statement issued in a bulletin in Arabic and English, which came hours after the 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker attacked passengers on a train near Wuerzburg-Heidingsfeld on Monday night,the attacker was “a member of the Islamic State” group and had carried out the attack in response to the militant group’s calls to attack countries that are members of the anti-IS coalition.Earlier, German authorities had revealed that investigators had found a hand-drawn flag of the Islamic State in the room of the Afghan teenager, along with notes in Pashto indicating that might have indicated self-initiation.
It is not clear, however,whether he had direct contact with operative personnel of the Islamic State.An official was reported as saying, “Just because I.S. is claiming this attack does not mean there is anything to it. Right now, we have to examine in great detail who he knew and with whom he was in contact in order to create a complete picture”.
The teenager,whose identity has not been revealed, had reportedly arrived from Afghanistan on his own to apply for asylum last year. The authorities believed that he carried out the assault alone Monday night, but that is yet to be confirmed. The attack follows just days after a Tunisian delivery man drove a truck into acrowd of Bastille Day revellers in the French city of Nice, killing 84. Earlier in May, a man stabbed four people after shouting “Allahu akbar” at a German train station in a random attack in Grafing near Munich.
Such attacks in Europe could put political pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany over the past year. According to the statistics of last year alone, Germany had registered more than 1 million refugees, out of whom more than 150,000 were Afghans, seeking to enter the country.