Syrian refugee stabbed two men for holding hands, court hears

Syrian refugee ISIS-supporter stabbed a German man to death and seriously injured another because they were ‘committing a grave sin’ by holding hands, murder trial hears

  • Abdullah AHH, 21, stabbed one man and seriously injured his partner in Dresden  
  • Stabbed the tourists for ‘committing grave sin’ by holding hands in October
  • Had been released from prison a month before the attack for a juvenile sentence
  • He was arrested in 2017 and categorised as likely to pose threat to public safety

A Syrian refugee in Germany who stabbed one man to death and seriously injured his partner because he saw them holding hands has gone on trial today. 

The man, identified only as 21-year-old Abdullah AHH due to German privacy laws, is charged with one count of murder for fatally stabbing tourist Thomas L, 55, to death on the streets of Dresden in October last year.

He is also facing one count of attempted murder for attacking Thomas’s partner Oliver L, 53, with a different knife but failing to kill him.

Abdullah has already admitted carrying out the attack – telling a court psychologist that his only regret is not killing both men – but his lawyers are arguing that he should be sentenced using juvenile law because he is immature. 

Federal prosecutors allege that the defendant used kitchen knives to attack the two men in their 50s from behind because they were holding hands and he believed they were a gay couple, which he considered to be a ‘grave sin.’

Abdullah AHH (pictured) stabbed one man to death and seriously injured his partner after he saw them holding hands in Dresden last year 

The 21-year-old was arrested almost three weeks after the crime and has been in custody since then.

The defendant had been released from prison a month before the attack after serving a three-year juvenile sentence for promoting the extremist Islamic State group and subsequently attacking a prison guard.

Prosecutors alleged that the defendant, a native of Aleppo who came to Germany as a refugee in 2015 as an unaccompanied minor, had planned to carry out a further attack, details of which weren’t immediately known.

It was revealed in October that the Syrian ISIS terrorist, who was granted refugee status in May 2016, admitted he wanted to cut out Christians’ tongues.  

While living in asylum, the terrorist began recruiting for ISIS and threatened Christians, reported BILD.

Writing to a Christian, he said: ‘I will slaughter you today. You have a big mouth and I’ll cut off your tongue, you Christian.’

He was arrested in 2017 and categorised as likely to pose a threat to public safety, said Saxony state’s head of police, Petric Kleine. 

Syrian ISIS supporter Abdullah AHH (pictured), 20, was arrested after a tourist was stabbed to death and another seriously injured in the eastern German city of Dresden on October 4

Some 600 suspected Islamists are in this category in Germany, according to authorities. 

AHH lost this status because of his criminal record in 2019, but could not be deported due to the civil war in his home country.  

In the 2018 trial, AHH was shown to have used ISIS symbols in his Facebook profile and also propagated jihad via social networks and called on like-minded people to fight as martyrs against so-called infidels.

A statement on the court’s judgment read: ‘The accused had been advocating a jihadist ideology since early summer 2017, increasingly turning to ISIS and finally, as its supporter, worried about carrying out an assassination attempt.’

AHH also searched the Internet for instructions on how to build an explosives belt, the court heard at the time.

He reportedly planned to bomb folk festivals including the Dresden bird meadow or the film nights on the banks of the Elbe in 2017.

The Syrian was released from prison, where he had served more than two years for recruiting members to a terrorist organisation, only days before the attack.

The victims of the attack in downtown Dresden were German men from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia on vacation, according to the police. 

A kitchen knife that investigators believe is linked to the attack was found at the scene with traces of DNA on it.

The victims, one aged 53 and the other 55, were German men from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia on vacation in Dresden (pictured). The 55-year-old died later in hospital

In an assessment months before the attack, authorities had said it was highly likely the man would commit more crimes once released, Kleine said.

He was under observation on the day of the attack and the two preceding days, said the head of the Saxony branch of the domestic intelligence agency, Dirk-Martin Christian.

Mr Christian added that people just released from prison were not normally monitored 24 hours a day.

He said: ‘We are talking about an intelligence service that does not aim to avert danger, but to observe whether the person is moving in a radicalising environment.

‘The following could have happened. The observers sit in the car and watch the person. And suddenly he takes up his gun. 

‘You’re in the car and, as bitter as it is, have to take note of it. Observation is not the appropriate tool to prevent such acts. It doesn’t matter whether we watch him for 24 or six hours.’

Abdullah AHH is charged with murder, attempted murder and dangerous physical harm for the Dresden attack.

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