German prosecutor files murder charges against Syrian citizen accused of 'Islamist-motivated' attack

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's federal prosecutor's office said Thursday it had brought charges of murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm against a Syrian citizen in connection with two “Islamist-motivated” knife attacks.

The suspect is accused of stabbing a man to death in the city of Duisburg in April, and of a second attack a few days later in which five people at a gym suffered knife wounds.

The man, identified only as Maan D. in line with German privacy rules, is a follower of the Islamic State group, the prosecutor's statement alleged. He was charged on Aug. 30, the statement said.

He is accused of first stabbing to death a man he met by chance in the early hours of April 9 this year in Duisburg’s old city.

He allegedly stabbed the victim at least 28 times in the abdomen, head and neck area with a knife. The victim died on the same day.

On April 18, he allegedly went to a gym in Duisburg to kill as many of the people he considered “infidels” as possible.

Prosecutors say he stabbed three studio visitors in the locker room and shower area, in some cases several times in the upper body, causing life-threatening injuries. Subsequently, they say he inflicted two stab wounds to the thigh of a first-aider.

The suspect was detained on April 24 and has been in prison since then.

“Maan D. is a follower of the radical Islamist ideology of the foreign terrorist organization ‘Islamic State’” the prosecutor's statement alleges. “Based on this attitude, he decided to contribute to the worldwide jihad by killing alleged ‘infidels’ in Germany.”