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Sorrow over Germany

German suspect admits anti-Semitic attack, far-right motive

German suspect admits anti-Semitic attack, far-right motive
The German suspect in a deadly attack targeting a synagogue has admitted to the shooting rampage, confessing it was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism, federal prosecutors said Friday amid government warnings of an "elevated" risk of further attacks.

Stephan Balliet, 27, made a "very comprehensive" confession during an interrogation lasting several hours, said a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe.

"He gave an extensive confession. He confirmed far-right and anti-Semitic motives" for the attack, the spokesman said.

Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned meanwhile in a ZDF television interview that there was now an "elevated" threat of another anti-Semitic or terrorist attack saying around half of 24,000 suspected far-right extremists had an "affinity" with firearms and could engage in violence.

Seehofer warned that more attacks could happen "at any moment" and that Berlin was taking the matter most seriously and was "extremely alert".

Balliet is accused of shooting dead two people in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday, after he tried and failed to storm a synagogue.

Two people were seriously hurt in the assault.

The man, who was described by neighbours and his father as a loner who spent much of his time at a computer, had filmed and live-streamed the assault.

The victims, a German man and woman, appeared to be chosen at random when the assailant failed to gain access to the synagogue he had besieged with gunfire and homemade explosives, as the frightened congregation barricaded itself inside.

Police eventually captured Balliet after a gun battle that left him wounded.

Balliet’s lawyer Hans-Dieter Weber told public broadcaster Suedwestrundfunk that his client stood by his actions.

"It would be nonsensical to deny it, and he didn’t do that," said Weber.

"In his view of the world, he blames others for his own misery and that’s what ultimately triggered his action."

Source : AFP

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