First, a 17-year-old in a foreign land used an ax and knife to stab Chinese tourists on a train. Then an 18-year-old local who received psychological treatment opened fire near a busy shopping mall after apparently trying to lure his young victims to their deaths through a hacked Facebook post.
These two teenage loners influenced by extremist ideologies on opposite sides of the spectrum picked the same week to bring something to Germany that the nation hasn’t dealt with in decades: violence against random strangers.
Mohammed Riyadh, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, wounded five people Monday in a rampage on a train near the Bavarian town of Würzburg. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, posting a video of the teenager referring to himself as a “solider” for the terror group. Riyadh was shot dead by police as he fled the scene.
Local media named Ali David Sonboly, a dual German-Iranian national from Munich, as the gunman behind the shooting rampage outside a McDonald’s in his hometown on Friday that killed nine people, including seven teenagers. Investigators said a trove of material about mass killings found in the gunman’s home led them to believe he was inspired by Friday’s five-year anniversary of a massacre of 77 in Norway by Anders Breivik, a far-right extremist. Sonboly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.