Man held for planning attack on Muslims in Germany

nitial investigations show the suspect “has for some time been considering the idea of committing an attack in which he wanted to kill numerous people in order to attract worldwide media attention,” prosecutors said. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 08 June 2020

Man held for planning attack on Muslims in Germany

  • The 21-year-old from the northern city of Hildesheim had announced his attack plans ‘in an anonymous Internet chat’
  • Police found weapons in the suspect’s home, as well as electronic files containing right-wing extremist content

BERLIN: Police in Germany have detained a man on suspicion of planning to kill Muslims in an attack inspired by the 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, prosecutors said Monday.
The 21-year-old from the northern city of Hildesheim had announced his attack plans “in an anonymous Internet chat,” the state prosecutor’s office in the town of Celle said.
Initial investigations show the suspect “has for some time been considering the idea of committing an attack in which he wanted to kill numerous people in order to attract worldwide media attention,” prosecutors said.
The suspect referenced the attacker who killed 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019, and said he wanted to carry out a similar attack.
“His aim was to kill Muslims,” prosecutors said.
Police found weapons in the suspect’s home, as well as electronic files containing right-wing extremist content.
He was detained on Saturday and faces charges of threatening to commit criminal offenses and financing terrorism through the purchase of weapons.
Germany has been rocked by a string of extreme-right attacks over the past 12 months.
A gunman with apparent far-right beliefs killed nine people at a shisha bar and a cafe in the city of Hanau, near Frankfurt, in February, while two people were killed in an attack targeting a synagogue in Halle, near Leipzig, in October.
In June 2019, pro-immigration politician Walter Luebcke was found shot dead at his home in the central state of Hesse, and a far-right sympathizer has been charged with his murder.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer proclaimed in March that right-wing extremism and right-wing terrorism were “the biggest danger for democracy in Germany,” promising a beefed up security response.


Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

Updated 13 August 2020

Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

  • Spotlight on economy, security as 67 officials take oath in palace ceremony

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa administered the oath of office to 28 new Cabinet ministers and 39 state ministers on Wednesday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Kandy Royal Palace, a week after the Aug. 5 general elections.

“The Cabinet has been formed in a pragmatic and a realistic manner to implement the national program. Special attention was paid to national security, economic development, infrastructure, education, health and sports,” a Presidential Secretariat statement said.

While President Rajapaksa retained the defense portfolio, his brother, Namal Rajapaksa — the 34-year-old son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa — was named minister for youth and sports.

Several senior politicians, including former president Maithripala Sirisena, were left out of the new Cabinet.

The ninth parliament is set to meet on Aug. 20.

Only two members from minority communities, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and Justice Minister Ali Sabry, were appointed from the Tamil and Muslim communities, respectively.

“I’m delighted to get this portfolio in recognition of my services to the nation, particularly to the legal field,” Sabry said.

He is the second Muslim justice minister to assume office after Rauff Hakeem of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, led by PM Rajapaksa, polled 6,853,690, or 59 percent of votes, and secured a total of 145 seats in parliament, including 17 of the National List seats.

Sabry said government efforts to limit the coronavirus pandemic had “impressed the nation enough to vote them into power.”

Lawyer Razik Zarook said: “It’s a great victory for the Muslim community. The era of mistrust and suspicion is over, and the foundation is laid to build the bridges of friendship and amity.”

However, international political lobbyist Muheed Jeeran told Arab News that though the Cabinet is promising, it is “full of confusion.”

“Sabry’s appointment has disappointed the nationalist group who want to implement one nation, one law,” he said.

“But it is a joyful moment for Muslims who supported the SLPP. However, it will be difficult for Sabry as justice minister. Will he become the wooden handle of the axe to chop the tree of traditional Muslim laws as per the nationalist agenda, or will he stand for Muslim rights?”