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Hamburg Stabbing Suspect is Known Radical

Hamburg Stabbing Suspect is Known Radical”

Authorities said he was known to investigators as an Islamist and considered to be "psychologically unstable" but did not appear to have any formal links to terror organizations.

A police spokeswoman said she could not confirm that the attacker shouted "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for "God is Greatest", as he ran out of the supermarket, as one witness told German broadcaster n-tv. Video filmed by those in the area showed young men hurling chairs at the attacker to stop him, CNN reported.

The attack was the latest in a series linked to Islamists in Germany, including a December truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people.

Good samaritans wrestled the man to the ground before police arrived.

"What we can say of the motive of the attacker at the moment is that on the one side there are indications that he acted based on religious Islamist motives, and on the other hand there are indications of psychological instability", Grote said.

A friend had tipped authorities off to changes in the man, telling them that he stopped drinking alcohol and started talking about the Quran, said Torsten Voss, head of the Hamburg branch of Germany's domestic intelligence agency. Authorities searched his living quarters at an asylum shelter in Hamburg overnight. "He was a suspected Islamist and was recorded as such in the appropriate systems, not as a jihadist but as an Islamist".

"The attacker was known to security forces". The suspect speaks Norwegian, Swedish and English, he said.

The suspect, a 26-year-old who had no identity papers other than a birth certificate showing he was born in the United Arab Emirates, was quickly overwhelmed by passers-by and arrested after Friday's attack at a supermarket in Hamburg's Barmbek district.

One official said the attack appears to be the latest in a series of "borderline cases" in Europe and the United States where it is hard to untangle mental health problems from terrorist motivation.

He was not named by authorities in keeping with Germany privacy laws.

Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz said in a statement that the assailant was "apparently a foreigner who was supposed to leave the country", but could not be deported because he did not have the necessary identification papers.

Grote said the man meant to leave Germany and had been at a government registration office for foreigners earlier Friday to see if his papers had arrived.



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