Sun | Sep 24, 2017

IS claims responsibility for attack, bomber denied asylum

Published:Tuesday | July 26, 2016 | 7:00 AM

ANSBACH (AP):

A Syrian man whose asylum bid had been rejected in Germany recorded a cell phone video of himself pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group before he tried to get into an outdoor concert with a bomb-laden backpack. He was turned away and blew himself up outside a wine bar instead, injuring 15 people, authorities said yesterday.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

It was the fourth attack to shake Germany in a week - three of them carried out by recent migrants.

The 27-year-old, whom authorities have not identified, set off a backpack laden with explosives and shrapnel Sunday night after being refused entry to the nearby festival in the Bavarian city of Ansbach because he didn't have a ticket.

Bavarian authorities said a video found on the Ansbach bomber's phone showed him pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. Germany's top security official, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, had said it was too early to rule out terrorism as a motive, but noted that the suspect had twice attempted suicide and had been receiving psychological care.

The attack was carried out by "one of the soldiers of the Islamic State," the extremist group said.

The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said the man carried out the attack in response to calls by the group to target countries of the US-led coalition that is fighting IS.

The bombing was the latest of the recent attacks that have heightened concerns about how Germany can deal with the estimated one million migrants who entered the country last year. Those fears had waned as the numbers of new arrivals had slowed this year dramatically, but already the nationalist Alternative for Germany party and others have seized on the attacks as evidence that Chancellor Angela Merkel's migration policies are flawed.

 

AXE ATTACK

 

A 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker injured five with an axe before being killed by police near Wuerzburg last week in an attack that was claimed by Islamic State. On Sunday, a Syrian man killed a woman with a knife in the southwestern city of Reutlingen before being captured by police, in an incident that authorities say was not likely linked to terrorism.

In between, the 18-year-old son of Iranian asylum seekers went on a rampage Friday night at a Munich mall, killing nine and wounding dozens. Authorities say he was undergoing psychological treatment and had no known links to terrorism.

Following the Munich mall shooting, city officials had ordered extra security and bag checks at the entrance of the venue, but the man never got that far, being turned away for lack of a ticket, Mayor Carda Seidel said.

Four of the 15 victims suffered serious injuries.