Admin l Sunday, March 12, 2023
HAMBURG, Germany – Lawmakers are asking whether a deadly attack on Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hamburg could have been prevented, pointing to material in the public domain that hinted at religious extremism, plus an anonymous tip-off when he applied for a gun license.
A man, identified as Philipp F under German privacy laws, killed four men, two women, a 7-month old foetus and himself in Hamburg on Thursday.
The Left Party called on the Hamburg Senate to clarify unanswered questions about the rampage, said Deniz Celik, interior policy spokesman for the Left Party in Hamburg’s State Parliament, in a statement on Sunday.
While her foetus died, the mother, who was 28 weeks pregnant, survived but was severely injured. The adults killed were between 33 and 60 years old.
In total, eight people were injured, four of them severely, in the attack at a Jehovah’s Witness place of worship, known as a Kingdom Hall. He had previously been a member of the religious community.
The attacker was a sports shooter and had legally purchased the shotgun he used in the attack.
“According to the latest findings, the question of whether the rampage could have been prevented must be asked anew. The crude theses on his homepage and in his book paint the picture of a confused, religious extremist,” Celik said.
Since this information was publicly available at the time that the authorities received an anonymous tip-off, the weapons authority should have questioned whether it was suitable to allow Philipp F. to possess a weapon, Celik said.
Hamburg’s police chief Ralf Martin Meyer told the press on Friday that the weapons authority had been alerted in January by an anonymous tip-off to Philipp F.’s “particular anger towards religious followers, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses.”