Harman Patil

2016 Hamburg stabbing attack

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2016 Hamburg stabbing attack

The 2016 Hamburg stabbing attack, also referred to as Murder at the Alster or Alster Murder, was an attack on 16 October 2016 in the city of Hamburg, Germany. A 23- to 25-year-old man "of southern appearance" was named as the suspect. On 30 October 2016, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack, though police later said a terrorist background or motive for the attack was "unlikely".



In the evening of 16 October 2016, a 16-year-old boy, named by the police as Viktor E. according to German privacy law, was stabbed near the Alster lake bridge of Kennedybrücke at around 10:00 p.m. His 15-year-old girlfriend, who was sitting with him on the stairs near the waterfront, was also thrown into the water of the Alster by the assailant. She managed to swim to the shore again, while the perpetrator ran away; she wasn't injured. Viktor E. died in the hospital shortly afterwards.


Though the police dispersed flyers, no eyewitnesses were initially found, while divers attempted to find the knife in the water, but to no avail. The police agency admitted that it had no knowledge about the possible motivation of the perpetrator. On 27 October, police tried to reconstruct the murder at the crime scene. Specialists investigated the location of the crime scene again using metal detectors.

On 30 October, it was reported that ISIL had claimed responsibility for the attack. Their news website Amaq specifically stated that a "soldier of the caliphate" had executed the stabbing. Hamburg police confirmed the claim, and acknowledged that federal security authorities (Staatsschutz) were now involved in the investigation. The ISIL statement falsely claimed that two persons were attacked with a knife.

During the investigation, Hamburg police contacted about 11,500 Hamburg doctors, operating under the assumption that the perpetrator was injured himself during the attack. Hamburg Medical Council suspended the obligation to secrecy for the doctors in the city in this case, but no significant developments emerged from the effort.

On 2 November, it was reported that a female eyewitness had probably seen the perpetrator on the day of the attack, loitering near the crime scene. A facial composite of him was created and published by the police. Police also reconstructed the last route of Viktor E. and his girlfriend from Steindamm, an inner city street, via Lohmühlenstraße station, to Jungfernstieg, and then to Kennedybrücke. The perpetrator may have followed his victims through that route.

On 14 November, the mother of Viktor E. appealed to the public for assistance in the investigation; few useful clues were provided to the police by then, although they posted bills in several languages throughout the city. On 30 November, police stuck bills in about 170 residences of refugees located all over the city.

Police acknowledged that it had received 360 clues in total by 30 November, but that there were no significant developments in the case by then. Nevertheless, police stated that it considered a terrorist background or motive unlikely.


The suspect was described as a 23- to 25-year-old man "of southern appearance". He has a height of approximately 1.8 to 1.9 m., dark hair, and a three-day stubble. He wore jeans and a brown pullover.


On 23 October, friends and relatives of Viktor E. mourned at the location of the murder. Some AfD supporters demonstrated as well; one of them was arrested. 70 left-wing protesters held a counter-demonstration.

The British terrorism expert Davis Lewin of Henry Jackson Society stated that the "profile of the attack fits to the new strategy of ISIL". He said it was "highly unlikely" that ISIL "jumps on an alien act of violence as a free rider".


2016 Hamburg stabbing attack Wikipedia

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