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Germany: Trial of Islamist in Duisburg Knife Attacks Begins

The trial of a man accused of murder and attempted murder in the German city of Duisburg has begun. The accused individual shocked the court by repeatedly making Islamist gestures and refusing to stand for the judge.

The trial of a 27-year-old Syrian man accused of murder and attempted murder began at the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Monday.

Federal prosecutors, who took over the case on August 30, have charged the man with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder, as well as aggravated assault and grievous bodily harm in connection with two crimes. 

Both incidents occurred nine days apart in the western industrial city of Duisburg this April.

As he was led  into the courtroom, the defendant repeatedly flashed hand signals identified with the radical Islamist terror group “Islamic State” (IS) — with which he identifies — while the parents of the murder victim looked on. He also refused to stand as the judge entered the courtroom.

The man, who arrived in Germany as an asylum seeker in 2016 and was granted residency status, has been in pre-trial detention since April 24.

Radicalized asylum seeker sought to ‘kill as many infidels as possible’

According to prosecutors, the defendant is a self-identified jihadi who rejects liberal society and was determined to kill as many “infidels” as he could in the name of IS.

Prosecutors say the accused believes those in Germany not living according to the dictates of Sharia law deserve to be killed. Thus, they argue, his actions can be seen as a direct attack on Germany’s liberal-democratic system.

The defendant is accused of having attacked a random 35-year-old pedestrian in downtown Duisburg with a knife on April 9, stabbing him at least 28 times in the abdomen, head and neck. The victim died shortly thereafter, yet the defendant was able to escape unidentified.

Nine days later, the Syrian is said to have entered a local gym with the intent of “killing as many men as possible.” Once there, he proceeded to the showering area where he repeatedly stabbed three different individuals in the chest. One of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries and remained in critical condition for days.

The defendant then attacked from behind a fourth individual who rushed to the scene to help, stabbing him twice in the thigh.

Analysis conducted by authorities found DNA traces on the Syrian’s shoe that quickly drew a connection between the attack at the gym and the previous attack in the city.

Currently, 18 trial dates are scheduled, with the case set to conclude in January 2024.

Source : DW

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