German federal prosecutors now believe that Hamburg supermarket attacker Ahmad A. was motivated by religious hatred to kill German Christians, but have refused to charge him with terrorism.
The 26-year-old failed Palestinian asylum seeker will be charged with the murder of a 50-year-old man and six more counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors say that he was upset about the treatment of Muslims, claimed they were being oppressed around the world, and decided to take action against any Christians he could, find Die Welt reports.
The Hamburg supermarket attack occurred in late July and initially many believed it to be an act of terror after witnesses reported hearing a man shouting “Allahu Akbar!”
Prosecutors say that the Palestinian was particularly aggrieved by the growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
“He found the access restrictions to the Al-Aqsa mosque unfair and unbearable,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding: “Therefore, German citizens of the Christian faith should die as an atonement.”
While they believe the attack was religiously motived, prosecutors say they have found no evidence that Ahmad A. had any links to terror organisations like the Islamic State terror group.
Germany Could Have Deported Hamburg Supermarket Attacker in 2015
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 3, 2017
Intelligence officials say that the Palestinian did, however, show signs of radicalisation, and was known to the domestic security services as an Islamist. He was also known to be “mentally unstable.”
The trial for Ahmad A. is set to begin in January according to the court press office in Hamburg.
The attack is not the first which has not been classified as terrorism by German authorities despite being carried out by a known Islamist.
Last year three Muslim teenagers attempted to bomb a Sikh temple in Essen, but despite their revealed links to Islamic State they were not charged with terrorism.
Prosecutors have seen a four-fold increase in terrorism cases over the last year and a report by the Heritage Foundation think tank found that over half of the plots were being planned by asylum seekers.