Germany’s federal prosecutor on Thursday identified the suspected gunman who attacked two hookah bars, killing nine people, as Tobias Rathjen.
What We Know:
- Authorities said Rathjen attacked two hookah bars in Hanau, Germany, late Wednesday and may have been motivated by xenophobia.
- Rathjen’s body was later found by authorities at his home, along with that of his mother. Police took his father into custody. Police said there are “no indications of further perpetrators”.
- Peter R. Neumann, the founding director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, said the shooter appeared to have a hatred for foreigners and non-whites, according to his social media accounts. The gunman called for the “extermination” of various Muslim-majority countries in North Africa, Middle East, and Central Asia, according to a manifesto authorities believed belonged to him.
- CNN reported that Rathjen left a message on his personal website saying he felt an “aversion” to specific ethnic groups, including Turks, Moroccans, Lebanese, and Kurds. Both his website and YouTube channel were removed from the internet.
- Turkey’s ambassador in Berlin, Ali Kemal Aydin, told state broadcaster TRT Haber that the dead included five Turkish nationals.
- German leaders moved quickly to say society cannot allow such hate to fester.
- German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier joined other politicians in visiting the sites of the shooting before holding a minute of silence. Soccer matches and the opening gala at the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday were also set to be marked by a minute of silence.
Dozens of cities in Germany, including Hanau, held vigils to memorialize those killed in the attacks. The event in Hanau turned into a protest, with attendees holding signs decrying racism and xenophobia.