The 27-year-old German who shot dead two people in Halle, eastern Germany on Wednesday, wanted to "commit a massacre" in the synagogue where Jews were celebrating Yom Kippur. "What happened yesterday was terrorism," German Federal Prosecutor Peter Frank told the press in Karlsruhe on Thursday. Failing to force the door of the religious building, the assailant randomly killed a patient and the client of a Turkish restaurant near the synagogue, before being stopped following a car chase with the police.
The prosecutor said the killer was "scarred by frightening anti-Semitism, hatred from abroad". He said that the shooter was "heavily armed" when committing his crime and that some of his weapons were "vis-à-vis homemade". In his car, about 4 kilograms of explosives were also found. The assault was filmed and broadcast for 35 minutes on the Twitch streaming platform.
Solitary and obsessed with internet
The young man, identified as Stephan Bailliet, has been described by relatives as solitary, still living with his mother and obsessed with the internet. "He was not at peace with himself or with the world, he always blamed others," his father told the German daily Bild . Before the attack, he reportedly published an anti-Semitic "manifesto".
Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised utmost firmness against right-wing extremism. We must "use all means of the rule of law to fight hatred, violence," she said, promising a "zero tolerance." "We must protect" the Jews in Germany, said Thursday the head of the state Frank-Walter Steinmeier, moral conscience of the country, against the critics of this community, which does not consider himself sufficiently protected.