In Brief

Munich shooter 'idolised Anders Breivik' and claimed he was bullied

Ali David Sonboly opened fire on fifth anniversary of Norwegian massacre in attack police say was not terrorist related

The 18-year-old gunman who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday, killing nine people and then himself, "was a mentally-ill loner who idolised the far-right Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik", according to the Sunday Times.

Police said the shooting, carried out by German-Iranian Ali David Sonboly, was not related to Islamist terrorism after a search of his family home uncovered a stash of newspaper articles on mass killings and a book on the psychology of killers who have carried out school massacres.

He had been planning the attack, which fell on the fifth anniversary of the Breivik massacre in Norway, for more than a year. He "may have deliberately targeted youngsters of Turkish and Arab origin, groups he apparently felt had picked on him at school", says The Guardian.

A video has emerged reportedly showing Sonboly involved in a furious argument, shouting "I am German!" before complaining of being bullied.

He also set up a fake Facebook account "using the identity of a pretty teenage girl" to lure his victims to a McDonald's with the offer of free food, reports the Daily Telegraph.

German politicians will review the country's liberal gun laws after critics asked how Sonboly was able to purchase a handgun and amass 300 rounds of ammunition.

Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said there will be a debate on tightening gun control while the deputy chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, has called for more restrictions on access to firearms. Germany has the world's fourth highest rate of legal gun ownership.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested yesterday that the recent attacks in France and Germany were the countries' "own fault" and said citizens of nations "compromised" by terror groups could be subject to "extreme vetting" before entering the US.

Munich shooting: Nine killed by lone gunman

23 July

An 18-year-old man with dual German and Iranian citizenship killed nine people yesterday at a shopping centre in Munich before shooting himself dead. Another 16 people were injured.

German police have not yet released the gunman's name, nor commented on what might have motivated the attack. They say he had lived in the city "for a long time" and had no criminal record.

"The attack is the third on civilians in western Europe in eight days," says the BBC, "following the violence in Nice and Wuerzburg."

However, US security officials told Reuters that German authorities had found no link between yesterday's attacker and Islamic State or other militant groups. In video footage filmed during the attack, the gunman is heard shouting "I am German" and referring to "f***ing Turks".

His shooting spree began just before 6pm local time (5pm BST), outside a branch of McDonald's. After firing at people in the street, the gunman moved into the nearby Olympia shopping mall.

"Police at one point engaged and shot at him, only for him to escape," reports Deutsche Welle. "They later found him dead, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot."

After fears that up to three attackers were at large, police last night confirmed that the gunman had acted alone.

Chancellor Angela Merkel cancelled a holiday in the Alps to hold emergency talks with intelligence officials today. 

Recommended

Why cats prefer people who hate them
A cat
Tall Tales

Why cats prefer people who hate them

‘Cost of living will decide race’
Today’s newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Cost of living will decide race’

Is monkeypox here to stay?
Monkeypox virus
Talking point

Is monkeypox here to stay?

Immunity, Tunisia and Big Brother
Covid vaccine lab
Podcasts

Immunity, Tunisia and Big Brother

Popular articles

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner