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.


Philippine trash trawlers earn little from virus-boosted surge in plastics

Updated 26 min 41 sec ago

Philippine trash trawlers earn little from virus-boosted surge in plastics

MANILA: Virgilio Estuesta has picked through trash in the Philippines’ biggest city for four decades, and is noticing an unusually large amount of plastics during his daily trawl of about 15 km (9.3 miles).
Tough curbs re-imposed to combat a surge in daily coronavirus infections are squeezing income for the 60-year-old, as many of the junkyards and businesses in Manila that buy his recyclables have been closed since March.
Plastic items, such as bottles and containers, dominate the contents of the rickety wooden cart Estuesta pushes through the deserted streets, far more than metals and cardboard, yet the money they bring in is not enough to get by.
“It’s been really hard for us, it’s been difficult looking for recyclables that sell high,” he said.
“Recently we’ve been seeing a lot more plastics, but the problem is they don’t really sell high.”
Environmentalists say the Philippines is battling one of the world’s biggest problems stemming from single-use plastics, and ranks among the biggest contributors to plastic pollution of the oceans. It has no reliable data for its plastics consumption.
Greenpeace campaigner Marian Ledesma said consumers and businesses are now using yet more single-use plastics, in a bid to ward off virus infections.
“The pandemic has really increased plastic pollution,” she added. “Just because there’s a lot more people using disposables now, due to misconceptions and fears around transmitting the virus.”
Since March 16, Manila has experienced lockdowns of varying levels of severity, in some of the world’s longest and tightest measures to curb the spread of the virus.
They are taking a toll on Estuesta, who hopes to start earning soon.
“When you go out, the police will reprimand you,” he said. “I was stuck at home and had to rely on government aid, which was not enough. I had to resort to borrowing money from people.”