Xenephobia and mental illness suspected motive in most recent car attack in Germany
Mental illness and xenophobia views are seen as the leading motivations in a car-ramming attack in a western German city on New Year’s Day. Just after midnight, the perpetrator attempted to ram his car into a pedestrian, missing, before driving into the downtown area where he rammed a group of people next to the street. Finally, the man tried to ram more people at a bus stop before stopped and arrested by the police. The attack injured 8 people, some seriously, and all of them were of foreign origin or heritage from Syria, Afghanistan, or Turkey. The German State Interior Minister announced that the driver had “the clear intention of killing foreigners” but that there has been no indication of any connection to right-wing extremist groups. Car-ramming attacks have been used by ISIS-inspired militants in Europe but now the incidents that appear driven by mental illness and xenophobia are becoming more common. Last April, a mentally ill man wanting to commit suicide rammed a van into a city square in Münster, killing four and injuring over 20.