BERLIN: A German court has issued an arrest warrant for a German-Iranian man suspected of carrying out a knife attack on a bus in the northern city of Luebeck but there is no indication that it was a terrorist attack, police and prosecutors said on Saturday (Jul 21).
Police said the 34-year-old German citizen wounded 10 people in the attack on Friday but there was no sign he was radicalised or had a terrorist motive.
Prosecutors said in a statement they had sought the arrest warrant for the man on suspicion of attempted murder as well as bodily harm and attempted arson. He was ordered to be remanded in custody.
A spokeswoman for prosecutors in Luebeck said the motives remained unclear as the suspect had not commented on them.
"We have no indication that this was a terrorist act," she said.
The suspect had been born in Iran but took German citizenship many years ago and lived in Luebeck.
The accused has not commented on the alleged crimes and has taken to prison in Luebeck, police and prosecutors said.
Video surveillance footage from the bus led to suspicion that he wanted to set fire to the vehicle, thereby injuring as many people as possible and potentially killing some.
A 21-year-old man from the Netherlands who was seriously injured in the knife attack only survived thanks to an emergency operation but is no longer in a critical condition.
The statement said the accused apparently tried to prevent the bus driver from putting out the fire by punching him in the face but the bus driver nonetheless managed to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher.
Germans have been on edge since December 2016, when a Tunisian whose request for asylum was turned down and who had links to Islamist militants hijacked a truck and ploughed into a crowded marketplace in Berlin. Twelve people, including the man driving the truck when it was hijacked, were killed.
In April 2018, a man drove a camper van into a group of people sitting outside a restaurant in the German city of Muenster, killing two people before shooting himself dead. There was no evidence of any link to Islamist militancy and he was not a refugee.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Angus MacSwan)