Two people were killed outside a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle as firearms were discharged and, according to reports, a grenade detonated in the building’s cemetery Wednesday morning.
UPDATE 1800 — Killer’s own footage emerges
The shooter at the centre of Wednesday’s Yom Kippur attack against a German Synagogue live-streamed his attack using a helmet-mounted camera, broadcasting footage that gives glimpses to his motivations, an armoury of improvised weapons, and even showing his own face to the camera.
Speaking to the camera, the killer makes clear his hatred of Jewish people and makes reference to the ‘SS’, the Nazi-era paramilitary heavily responsible for the Holocaust, suggesting a neo-Nazi motive. After failing to force his way into the Halle Synagogue and shooting a passer-by outside, the gunman curses his own failure to inflict more death and calls himself a “complete loser” in English.
Over the course of the video, the attacker’s firearms jam and misfire several times, giving some of his would-be victims time to escape.
German police meanwhile continue their investigations into the attack, with overall responsibility having been handed to the national counter-terror organisation. While police had warned locals in Halle to remain vigilant throughout the day, they stood down the alert by Wednesday evening and allowed the city’s main railway station to reopen.
Local newspaper Sächsische Zeitung reports eyewitnesses at the Synagogue which reveals how much worse the terror attack could have been. The newspaper reports the comments of community leader Max Privorotzki who said the heavy doors to the Synagogue compound were closed and barricaded when security staff noticed a suspicious man approaching. As the helmet video attests, the attacker repeatedly tried to breach the doors with what appeared to be home-made pipe bombs and a crude shotgun, to no avail.
There were approximately 80 people inside the Synagogue.
After leaving the site of the religious building, the video showed the man driving to a Kebab shop in the city where he threw explosives and shot a man dead. He subsequently discarded the camera by the side of a road.
The original story continues below
German police are hunting an unknown number of suspects and have instructed locals to remain indoors after the attack, which has claimed two lives. One individual has already been arrested, suggesting police may be unsure whether that suspect worked alone as investigations continue. Security has been increasing at nearby synagogues including in Dresden, the regional capital.
The apparent attack came as the city’s Jewish community celebrated Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Local newspaper Sächsische Zeitung reports the shooting was instigated by an individual wearing combat clothing, and an unconfirmed video circulating on social media and shared by German news outlets shows a man in green faitigues and wearing a helmet discharging a firearm.
The volume of smoke produced by the weapon suggests it may be archaic or homemade in origin
— Michael Ziesmann (@M_Ziesmann) October 9, 2019
This story is developing, more follows