German authorities have charged an ISIS recruiter in the deadly 2020 Dresden knife attack which saw one gay man killed and another seriously injured, with homophobia said to be a motivation.
Wielding a large kitchen knife, Abdullah al-H H, a 20-year-old Syrian, allegedly stabbed the couple, who were visiting Dresden on 4 October.
Prosecutors claim al-H H, based in Aleppo, targeted the couple because they were gay and was motivated by radical Islamist ideology, being a recruiter for the Islamic State (ISIS).
He was charged last Thursday (11 February) with murder and attempted murder, according to Deutsche Welle.
The victims, one aged 53 and another 55, had visited Dresden for a vacation from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The 55-year-old died of his injuries while the 53-year-old survived being badly wounded.
Dresden knife attack ‘draws attention to the dangers of Islamist violence’, says minister.
It was an attack that rippled through Germany and deeply alarmed government ministers, reportedly being the first known Islamist-motivated killing of a gay person in the country, Deutsche Welle stated.
“Investigations have shown that the dreadful killing in Dresden had an Islamist background,” justice minister Christine Lambrecht said of the incident at the time.
“Islamist terror is a major, enduring threat to our society that we have to tackle determinedly.”
Interior minister Horst Seehofer said the attack “draws attention, once again, to the dangers of Islamist violence”.
“Utmost vigilance is necessary, whatever the form of extremism and terrorism,” he added.
The suspect was first tied to the murder after DNA traces were discovered on the weapon, which had been found by investigators at the scene. He had purchased a knife just two days before the incident.
His DNA was already in the police database and he had a lengthy rap sheet, having been considered “dangerous” by law enforcement since 2017 after publishing ISIS symbols and flags on his Facebook profile.
In 2018, al-H H was sentenced to spent two years and nine months in jail for allegedly planning a suicide bomb attack with the help of other militants as well as recruiting members to ISIS in the past.
He had been released from a juvenile detention centre only days before the attack.