German knife attacker in court, terrorism unlikely

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A man who is believed to have attacked passengers on a packed bus with a kitchen knife in the northern German city of Luebeck on Friday made a court appearance on Saturday, German news agency DPA reported.

The 34-year-old suspect, who was born in Iran but has German citizenship and lives in Luebeck, injured 10 people in the attack, three of them seriously.

There was no indication the suspect had been radicalized and a terrorist motive was unlikely, DPA cited officials as saying.

Following the court appearance, the man has been remanded in custody, it said.

A judge in Luebeck issued a warrant at the request of the prosecutor on charges of attempted murder.

The suspect is also accused of attempted serious arson, dangerous bodily harm and bodily harm, police and the prosecutor’s office said.

The suspect has remained silent about his motive for the attack.

According to witnesses cited by the local Luebecker Nachrichten newspaper, the bus was full and en route to nearby Travemuende when a passenger suddenly dropped a rucksack. He then pulled out a knife and began attacking people.

Initial investigations showed that the rucksack contained fire accelerants, but there were no signs of an explosive device, said Hans-Joachim Grote, interior minister for the state of Schleswig-Holstein, cited by DPA.

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