From file: A German police car | Photo: Picture-alliance/dpa/T.Plunert
From file: A German police car | Photo: Picture-alliance/dpa/T.Plunert

A Syrian man has been charged with murder after a "radical Islamic" attack on two Germans last year. Prosecutors allege that he targeted the tourists for being "infidels."

A 21-year-old Syrian man has been charged with murder for the stabbing of two tourists, one fatally, in the eastern city of Dresden in 2020, Germany's top prosecutor said on Thursday.

The Office of the Federal Prosecutor (GBA) charged that the man, identified only as Abdullah A.H.H. under German privacy laws, targeted the victims with a knife and acted out of "radical Islamic" extremist views.

The man is charged with stabbing the tourists, aged 55 and 53, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

According to the GBA, the suspect had intended to kill both men on October 4 for being what he viewed as "infidels."

"The suspect acted out of a radical Islamist disposition," according to the GBA. "He chose to punish both his victims with death for being representatives of an 'infidel' social order whose freedom and openness he had rejected," the GBA charged.

The suspect was arrested about two weeks after the attack and has been held in custody since.

In addition to murder, he faces charges of attempted murder and causing serious bodily harm.

According to Dresden authorities, the suspect was 20 years old at the time of the crime and had been in Germany since 2015. 

Abdullah A.H.H. first came to Germany in 2015 and applied for asylum.

Although his application was rejected, he was able stay in Germany under the so-called "tolerated" status, which German authorities give to rejected asylum seekers who cannot be deported.

mvb/nm (AFP, Reuters, AP)

First published: March 4, 2021

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