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July 30th, 2016
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International

Investigators: Munich Gunman Planned Attack for a Year

Investigators: Munich Gunman Planned Attack for a Year

German investigators say the gunman who killed nine people in Munich last Friday spent more than a year preparing for the attack.

An 18-year-old German-Iranian man identified as David Ali Sonboly, who opened fire Friday night in a crowded shopping mall in Munich, was “obsessed” with mass shootings, German officials said Saturday. The gunman killed himself after the attack.

Investigators said they searched the suspect's apartment and have not found any links to terrorism, but instead believe the attack was a "classic shooting rampage," citing a book found in his room entitled "Rampage on my Mind — Why Students Kill."

They also say the attack was not linked in any way to the recent influx of asylum-seekers that has been the topic of a heated debate in Germany.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters Saturday that evidence showed that the shooter had researched a 2009 school shooting in Germany, and the bomb-and-gun attacks in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people five years ago Friday.

De Maiziere said that there has been no indication of any connection to international terrorism.

Authorities are still trying to determine a motive, and de Maiziere said they were investigating reports that the shooter had been bullied by his peers.

He said that Sonboly had likely used a hacked Facebook account to lure people to a McDonald's restaurant, "offering them special reductions."

All those killed by Sonboly were Munich residents and most were teenagers.

At least 16 people, including children, were in the hospital and three were in critical conditSpeaking to reporters Saturday in Berlin, after a special meeting of her government's security council, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that German security services will “do everything possible to protect the security and freedom of all people in Germany” in the wake of two attacks in less than a week.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we will find out what exactly lay behind the crime in Munich. We will not rest until we have precise knowledge about how the perpetrator of the Wuerzburg [ax] attack became radicalized," she said. "The state and its security services will continue to do all they can to protect the safety and freedom of all people in Germany. Thank you."

Merkel said that last Friday night's deadly rampage in Munich, which she called “a night of terror,” and Monday’s attack on board a train in Wuerzburg were carried out in “places where any of us could have been” and have left Germans wondering “where is safe?”

Combined with the deadly attack in the French city of Nice, she said, people are growing increasingly concerned.

Bavarian State Prime Minister Horst Seehofer said at a press conference Saturday that Friday’s attack at a Munich shopping mall was a hard blow to German society.

"What happened yesterday in Munich fills us all with grief and horror, coming only days after the attack in Wuerzburg," Seehofer said. "The murders in Munich are a cruel blow for all of us across Bavaria. Our thoughts are with the victims of this barbaric act, and I want to express the condolences of the Bavarian government to their loved ones."

Seehofer told reporters that there was no known motive for the attack.

The killer was born and raised in Munich, and was in psychiatric and medical care. Investigators say they believe he was "deranged."

Walter Metuth

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 July 2016 06:26 )

 

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