A massacre in Munich that left at least 10 people dead Friday night does not appear to have been tied to any terror groups, German prosecutors have said.
On Friday afternoon, an 18-year-old gunman opened fire in a shopping mall, killing nine and injuring dozens.
The suspect, identified as Ali Sonboly, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was of dual German-Iranian nationality, police confirmed on Saturday.
His body was found more than two hours after the attack. He was carrying a 9-mm Glock pistol and still had some 300 rounds of ammunition on him when he shot himself, police said Saturday.
There were fears the attack was motivated by a radical Islamist ideology of the kind apparently held by the attackers in the recent terror attacks in southern Germany and Nice, France, which were both claimed by the Islamic State group. But prosecutors say the attack does not appear to be explicitly political in motivation.
“We consider this to be a classic lone gunman without political motivation,” Thomas Steinkraus-Koch, Munich’s chief prosecutor, said in a press conference on Saturday.
Munich Police Chief Hubertus Andrae also said that based on police searches of Sonboly’s home, “there are no indications whatsoever that there is a connection to Islamic State.”
Sonboly, who was not previously known to police, apparently suffered from depression and was receiving psychiatric treatment. A 14-year-old who went to Sonboly’s high school told The New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi that Sonboly had been severely bullied at school.
“She claims that he had an altercation several months ago with a classmate at school and threatened to ‘go on a shooting rampage,'” Callimachi reported.
Still, Sonboly’s motive remains “fully unclear,” Andrae said. He had evidently researched previous killing sprees, prosecutors said. A book entitled “Rampage in Head: Why Students Kill,” was found during searches of the home he shared with his parents in Dachauer Strasse, in the Munich suburb of Maxvorstadt.
His parents are “too shocked to help with the investigation” at this time, police said.
Police also said there was an “obvious link” between Sonboly and Norway’s mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, who murdered 77 people in July 2011. Sonboly’s shooting spree in Munich coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Norway massacre.
He apparently lured victims to the McDonald’s where he opened fire after hacking into a girl’s Facebook page and promising people free food if they showed up.
“(He) said he would treat them to what they wanted as long as it wasn’t too expensive – that was the invitation,” Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state criminal agency, said in a press conference Saturday.
Three 14-year-olds and two 15-year-olds are among those who were killed. The other victims were 17, 19, 21 and 45 years old, police said.
The shooting was the second high-profile incident of violence in Germany this week. On Monday a teenager attacked four people with an ax on a train in southern Germany. ISIS claimed responsibility for the train attack.
“For the second time in a few days we’ve been shaken by an incomprehensible bloodbath,” Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofe told reporters Saturday. “Uncertainty and fear must not be allowed to gain the upper hand.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will convene her security council on Saturday to address the shooting, according to AFP. The council consists of several top German officials, including the ministers of defence, interior affairs, and foreign affairs.
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