Germany (AP) – A Syrian man who tried unsuccessfully to claim asylum in Germany pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and vowed the nation’s people “won’t be able to sleep peacefully anymore” in a cell phone video before blowing himself up outside a wine bar, wounding 15 people, authorities said Monday.
The assailant set off a backpack laden with explosives and shrapnel Sunday night after being refused entry to a crowded music festival in the Bavarian city of Ansbach because he didn’t have a ticket.
It was the fourth attack to shake Germany in a week, and the second claimed by the Islamic State group. Three of the attacks were carried out by recent immigrants, rekindling concerns about Germany’s ability to cope with the estimated 1 million migrants registered entering the country last year, an influx that has since dwindled as the flow of newcomers slowed.
Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said a laptop with extremist videos was found at the apartment of the suspect, a 27-year-old Syrian identified only as Mohammad D in line with German privacy laws. A video on his cellphone showed him declaring loyalty to the Islamic State group and announcing a “revenge act against Germans because they are standing in the way of Islam.”
The suspect also declared Germans “won’t be able to sleep peacefully anymore,” Herrmann said. “I think after this video there’s no doubt that the attack was a terror attack with an Islamist motivation.”
In its claim of responsibility, the extremist group said the attack was carried out by “one of the soldiers of the Islamic State.”
The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said the attacker acted in response to the extremist group’s call to target countries of the U.S.-led coalition fighting it in Iraq and Syria. Germany is not involved in combat operations but has contributed reconnaissance aircraft to the effort.
After the IS connection surfaced, federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe, who investigate all suspected terrorism, took over the case saying they would seek to “determine if thus-far unknown accomplices or backers were involved in the crime.”
The suspect came to Germany two years ago and applied for asylum in August 2014, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. It turned out that he had already registered in Bulgaria and later in Austria, so Germany rejected his request and ordered him deported to Bulgaria — most recently on July 13.
Asylum-seekers are routinely deported to the first country where they registered if they don’t follow proper procedures, even if they’re considered to have a legitimate asylum claim.
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