Another attack in Germany—with a machete

I swear, Germany is becoming like Bangladesh, what with people getting hacked up on a regular basis. The latest attack, just reported in a town near Tübingen, is this (from RT):

At least one person has been killed and two more injured in an incident in the German town of Reutlingen. A man wielding a machete apparently randomly attacked passersby in the street.

The man was identified as a Syrian asylum seeker, aged 21, who was previously known to law enforcement, the local police department said in a statement.

The motives of the man are still unclear.

The perpetrator had an argument with a woman near the central bus terminal in Reutlingen, and during the altercation severely injured the woman using a machete.The woman died of her injuries at the scene, police said.

The perpetrator was then detained near the scene “in minutes” after the incident but managed to injure another woman and a man, police added.

The eye witnesses described the attacker to Bild as “fully insane,” adding that he tried to attack a police car with his machete.

Apparently the attacker was known to the police, had been in trouble before, and was stopped in an unusual way (from the Independent):

[An eyewitness] said a passing BMW managed to run him over and afterwards he “lay prostrate on the ground and didn’t move”.

It’s not clear yet what the mall shooter’s motives were, though they seem to have ruled out any Islamist aims. Still, all kinds of rumors are flying about.


  1. Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink


    • Filippo
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      ” . . . a Syrian asylum seeker, aged 21 . . . .”

      I’d like to think that I would be glad and grateful – and show it! – that a country would take me in and away from the chaos which is Syria.

      What is it with the bloody adolescent male human primate? I don’t suppose that it would ever occur to him to simply and solely take the machete to himself.

      • Bethlenfalvy
        Posted July 24, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        “Tagesschau” (news on public-service i.e. taxpayer financed TV) devoted only 20 seconds (at the end of the broadcast) to the attack.

        TV didn’t mention the fact that the perpetrator was an asylum seeker but the German public learned that there was no evidence for a terrorist motive.

        Meanwhile a good number of Germans has come to the conclusion that for more detailed information on things going on in their own country it’s best to consult Swiss, British or Dutch media.

  2. Geoffrey Howe
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Now the Machete attacker sounds like a genuine loony, especially since a witness described him as trying to attack a police car with a machete, so I wouldn’t call it a terrorist attack no matter how religious it turns out to be. If you think you can attack a german police car with a machete and win, then you’re out of your mind enough to kill people just because the clouds looked a bit purple.

    The mall shooter, though, I’m not so sure about. The problem is, it doesn’t really deviate from the usual pattern all that much, except for the individuals suicide. And to be fair, that does match the usual pattern of a crazed shoot-out killer, as terrorists prefer to go down fighting (and only kill themselves as part of a bomb, not as part of a “hurts nobody else” bullet to the head)

    However, the german police also claimed their New Years celebration to be perfectly peaceful before we heard about the Cologne attacks. Which means they’re willing to blatantly lie to avoid rousing suspicion.

    And that’s yet another part of the problem of this attitude towards islam. Not only is it dishonest in and of itself, but once you tell a lie that blatant… nothing you say is trustworthy ever again. And while I think this mall killer is probably not best classified as a terrorist, I can’t really rely on the german police to reach that conclusion anymore.

    • Posted July 24, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      I think that, to know whether the machete killer is a terrorist or not, we must know more about the victim. If she was from his community, it may have been a honor-murder rather than terrorism.

      I think the Munich shooter (Ali David Sonboly, called “David S.” by German authorities in their ridiculous manner) wasn’t a terrorist. Or if it was, he was anti-immigrant. Though of Iranian origin, he identified as German. During his attack, he reportedly shouted “I am German” and “I was born here”.

      He was reportedly bullied for years at school and needed psychiatric treatment:

      German law is too prohibitive to homeschooling. Maybe authorities fear that if they allow it, neo-Nazi parents will raise little Nazis at home. The compulsory schooling, however, takes collateral damage. I know of German children with Asperger syndrome who were unfit for classroom, either because of the disorder itself or because classmates bullied them. Nevertheless, the law sent them to school. In some cases, the parents resorted to emigration.

      Sonboly “had an obsession with mass shooters, including the perpetrator of the Winnenden school shooting in 2009; he compiled a scrapbook of news clippings on mass shootings and owned several books on the matter. He also visited Winnenden and took pictures there. A classmate of Sonboly said that Sonboly changed his profile picture on the messaging service WhatsApp to a photo of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik” (Wikipedia).

      I read in some initial reports that a single eyewitness, a Muslim woman, said that she heard Sonboly shouting “Allahu akbar”. It seems that she has imagined it. I wonder about the psychology of this false perception.

      • Posted July 24, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        German authorities are (I think rightly) treating the Munich killer as an “Amokläufer” not a terrorist.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 24, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          Love that word!

          • Posted July 25, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            “Amokrunner” wouldn’t quite cut it for a serious English word, but it works fine in German!

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted July 25, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

              Yes, this is why a lot of German words amuse English speakers. Even English speakers who grew up speaking German (i.e.: from a German household) find some words really funny while native Germans can’t figure out what’s so amusing.

              • Posted July 25, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

                I often have trouble when I switch back to my native English. IN the middle of a sentence I find myself gettingready to use a German word, realize it doesn’t exist in English, try to translate it and realize the translation lasts for a paragraph or two.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

                I find in English I can switch between thinking one word and at the last minute substitute it with a better one. This works for nouns and verbs. The problem with German is you can’t do that as readily if you are already committed to one verb and have garnished it with the appropriate grammar. This could be a fishing of my own since I’m hardly fluent in German but the verb coming at the end means I’ll need to rearrange my English influence brain. I’m sure this doesn’t happen to native German speakers or fluent German speakers.

              • Posted July 26, 2016 at 6:52 am | Permalink

                Even Germans make mistakes too sometimes. Choosing a better noun in midsentence can also cause problems because the article probably needs to change too, and the article can appear much earlier.

              • Merilee
                Posted July 26, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

                Not to mention the endings on the adjectives…

              • Posted July 26, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

                It took me more than a year merely to accept their existence!

          • Merilee
            Posted July 25, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

            I get it now. I was thinking amo as in ammunition and wondering what a Kläufer was…so amok Läufer makes much more sense. G

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted July 25, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

              German compounds are tricky but if you recognize the words you’re ok because you know where they break. I instantly understood what amoklaüfer meant and that is the beauty of the German compound word.

              • Merilee
                Posted July 26, 2016 at 12:16 am | Permalink

                I knew the verb laufen so should have gotten it right away…

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted July 24, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        “Homeschooling” isn’t schooling though, which is why EU doesn’t allow it. The schools have a lot of resources to handle special needs.

        However bullying is as endemic as sexual harassment, but it is everywhere and in all ages. You can’t avoid either by confining children at home, since the web is on of the dominant parts of their social life.

        The best way is to combat it at school, so that children understand that it shouldn’t be part of what people do.

        Re Sonboly, the Breivik connection seems fairly strong as of yet. But the Whatsapp picture and the content of his “manifest” (if any) hasn’t been confirmed.

        There were a lot of other rumors at the time. Three people who fled the shooting were sought by the police as helpers/shooters, and reports of (non-existent) shootings at subway stations were claimed.

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted July 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          Oops, I misstated. Turns out it is in practice illegal over much of Europe, as in many parts of the world, for the reasons I stated, it isn’t socially accepted as useful schooling.

          “Some countries have highly regulated home education programs as an extension of the compulsory school system; others, such as Germany,[1] have outlawed it entirely. In other countries, while not restricted by law, homeschooling is not socially acceptable or considered undesirable and is virtually non-existent.”

          So I assumed the whole EU was covered, but apparently not.

          [ ]

          • Posted July 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            Yes, some of those parents of kids on the autism spectrum emigrated as close as Austria, where they could homeschool nevertheless.

            Here is a blog I read sometimes, of a young Canadian woman with autism and other issues, who was homeschooled after bullying from classmates and teachers (!) became unbearable. I do not think she looks as if she has not been educated:

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 24, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        “I wonder about the psychology of this false perception.”

        It’s just the mind ‘filling in the details’. That thought had crossed my mind too.

        There’s a well-known psychological experiment of a staged ‘bank robbery’ where several of the witnesses, quite unprompted, ‘remembered’ a shotgun being waved around even though none of the ‘robbers’ had any kind of firearm.

        (Unfortunately I can’t recall any references)


  3. Merilee
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink


  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Jebus! Poor Germans!

    • Merilee
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      My good friend’s daughter lives just outside Munich and was in town that day and got caught up in the closed subway chaos. Fortunately she managed to call home and let her parents know she was safe.

      Lots of copy-cat insanity going on, religious and otherwise.

    • Scientifik
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m reading that his victim was actually a Polish woman! And as it turns out she was pregnant!!

  5. Christopher
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like Christmas has come early for the far right in Germany: “proof” that these asylum seekers and muslims are dangerous and ought to be kept out of the country. This does not bode well for liberalism in Europe, for probably a generation.

  6. Amy
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    But why Bangladesh? Believe or not, immigration policy, specially the asylum & immigration policy for the troublesome Muslim world, is/ will be the decisive point for the president race.

    Muslim world needs to evolve their religion out of their culture and daily life to cope with the modern world. But regressive lefts support the backward evolution.

  7. Posted July 24, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    From this news report in German-
    -it seems that the victim was the man’s partner. Given that he’s been arrested, there will probably eventually be some reliable information about the causes. Doesn’t sound like an honor killing to me — i.e. not necessarily premeditated. Perhaps just some crazed person with an already demented and dangerous religious ideology.

    • RossR
      Posted July 25, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      The article I read said he claimed to be in love with her. So this is probably the ‘other’ type of honor killing – “I am male, therefore I own you and you must not offend my honor by claiming otherwise”. There’s still a hell of a lot of it about.

      • Posted July 25, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        It is a horrendous problem in Germany (and everywhere I guess). The ones I am aware of have all been very calculated. This appears to me to have been more driven by emotion (and probably atrocious religious values). I wrongly described her as his partner – he had worked with her and she had rejected his advances.

  8. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Yay for BMW’s!

    And – assuming the running-over was intentional – kudos to the quick-thinking driver.


    (I know there’s a misplaced apostrophe there)

  9. Stanislaw Pak
    Posted July 24, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Is there really a surprise here? These things were predictable. And there will be more such things. Thanks Angela Merkel for making Germany safer place.

  10. Mike
    Posted July 25, 2016 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    If the word Syrian didn’t appear in the report,he would in all probability be viewed as a schizophrenic off his medication. I think its probably too early to jump to the conclusion it was a terrorist incident, but if it was, the only motivation he needed was Islam.

  11. Posted July 25, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    And another in Germany, luckily failed. As the BBC described it, a Syrian asylum seeker dies in German blast”. Or as it might be described by users of standard English, a Syrian asylum seeker blew himself up. It seems he wanted to blow up people at a music festival but didn’t have a ticket, and wasn’t allowed in.

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