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IS Claims Germany Ax Attacker as One of Its Fighters

  • VOA News

Police officers walk to the crime scene near the river Main, background, where a 17-year-old man from Afghanistan was shot the night before, near Wuerzburg, Germany, Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

Police officers walk to the crime scene near the river Main, background, where a 17-year-old man from Afghanistan was shot the night before, near Wuerzburg, Germany, Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

Islamic State posted a video on social media Tuesday in which it identifies a man as 17-year-old Muhammad Riyad, an Afghan refugee who attacked passengers with an axe on a train near Wuerzburg, Germany.

The 2-minute 20-second Pashto-language video shows the purported attacker holding a small knife, speaking in Pashto with Arabic subtitles that read: "I am one of the soldiers of the caliphate and I will carry out a martyrdom operation in Germany” (full quote below).

Earlier Tuesday, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said police had discovered a hand-painted flag of the Islamic State militant group in the belongings of the teenager who went on an axe-and-knife slashing rampage aboard the train Monday. Several people were injured in the attack, including members of a Chinese family, with two of the victims in critical condition.

Cameramen film at the scene where a man was shot dead by the police after attacking passengers on a train with an axe near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany, July 19, 2016.

Cameramen film at the scene where a man was shot dead by the police after attacking passengers on a train with an axe near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany, July 19, 2016.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack in a post on its Aamaq news agency Tuesday, shortly after authorities in Germany discovered the flag.

According to the statement, the attacker was "a member of the Islamic State," and planned the attack after calls from the group for supporters to attack Western countries.

"The perpetrator of the stabbing attack in Germany was one of the fighters of the Islamic State," the news agency said.

German emergency services workers work in the area where a man with an ax attacked passengers on a train near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany, early July 19, 2016.

German emergency services workers work in the area where a man with an ax attacked passengers on a train near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany, early July 19, 2016.

IS has claimed responsibility for several attacks carried out in its name, though the connection between the group and the perpetrators of those attacks is unclear. If IS is behind this attack, it would be the first time the group has targeted Germany.

Witnesses report hearing the attacker shouting "Allahu akbar (God is great)" while he carried out the assault.

The attacker was shot to death by police as he fled from the scene. Herrmann earlier said the young man lived in the German town of Ochsenfurt.


Full quote purportedly uttered by attacker:

"In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, I am one of the soldiers of the Caliphate and I will carry out a martyrdom seeking operation in Germany. Oh disbelievers, the time has ended in which you come to our countries and kill our men, our women, our children. No one asks you about that, and the state rulers remain silent about these massacres. And no Muslims dared to disagree with you even by speaking. That era has gone and the Islamic Caliphate is established in Iraq, Sham (Syria).

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