Trial of jihadist knife ‘killer’ begins in Germany


From AFP via the International News and AP via the Independent

DRESDEN, Germany: The trial of a Syrian jihadist accused of stabbing a German tourist to death in an apparently homophobic attack last year began in the eastern city of Dresden on Monday. The 21-year-old, named by German media as Abdullah A, is charged with murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm for allegedly attacking two men who had travelled to Dresden from North Rhine-Westphalia with a 21-centimetre blade on October 4.

Federal prosecutors allege that the defendant used kitchen knives to attack the two men in their 50s from behind because they were holding hands and he believed they were a gay couple, which he considered to be a “grave sin.” The 21-year-old was arrested almost three weeks after the crime and has been in custody since then.

The defendant is charged with murder in the killing of the 55-year-old victim and the attempted murder and serious bodily harm of the 53-year-old man. A forensic psychiatrist testified in court that the defendant had told him after the attack that he regretted not killing both men,  The defendant’s lawyer acknowledged that his client had admitted to carrying out the attack and that the requirements for a murder conviction had been met, but suggested that juvenile law should be applied in the case as he was still immature, dpa reported.

The defendant had been released from prison a month before the attack after serving a three-year juvenile sentence for promoting the extremist Islamic State group and subsequently attacking a prison guard.

The prosecution say that  Abdullah, who came from Aleppo as a refugee in 2015 had other arracks planned but they have not yet said any more about them. 

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