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On 7 April 2018, a man drove a van into people seated outside restaurants in a pedestrianised square in the old part of the German city of Münster. He killed two people and injured about 20 others, 6 seriously. Another victim died on 26 April.[1] A Dutch victim who was in a coma after the attack died almost 4 months later on 29 July 2018.[2]

2018 Münster attack
Münster, Kiepenkerl -- 2014 -- 0290.jpg
2018 Münster attack is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
2018 Münster attack
2018 Münster attack (North Rhine-Westphalia)
2018 Münster attack is located in Germany
2018 Münster attack
2018 Münster attack (Germany)
LocationMünster, Germany
Coordinates51°57′39″N 7°37′34″E / 51.9607°N 7.6261°E / 51.9607; 7.6261Coordinates: 51°57′39″N 7°37′34″E / 51.9607°N 7.6261°E / 51.9607; 7.6261
Date7 April 2018 (2018-04-07) (UTC+2)
TargetUnknown
Attack type
Vehicle-ramming attack
WeaponsMotor vehicle
Deaths5 (including the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
20
Location of the attack

Contents

AttackEdit

 
Tributes at the spot where the attack took place, the sign translates to "WHY?"

On 7 April 2018, a man drove a camper van into people seated outside restaurants in a pedestrianised square in the old part of the German city of Münster.[3][4] Police said the attacker drove into "several cafe and restaurant terraces in a major square in the centre of Münster".[4] The perpetrator then shot himself dead.[4] It was then found that his van was booby-trapped with a pistol connected to a wire.[5]

The attack killed five people, including the perpetrator and also injured about 20 others, six seriously.[4]

PerpetratorEdit

The attacker was identified by media sources as a 48-year-old German national named Jens Alexander Rüther, born about "an hour south" of the city,[6][7] who had previously suffered from psychiatric illness. State Interior Minister Herbert Reul said on the day of the attack that there was no indication of an Islamist background of the attack.[7]

Media reported that Jens R. was born on 1 May 1969, and had resided in Münster. Deutsche Welle described him as a "wealthy designer."[3] He was later known as small-time criminal, who stole cell phones and car radios to finance his drug addiction. Local reports claimed that he had been in contact with certain far-right groups but had not been an extremist himself.[8] He had said in the past that he wanted to commit suicide in a spectacular way. Authorities also considered the possibility that he committed the crime due to relationship problems.[9]

On 18 April 2018, Herbert Reul stated that after an analysis of the security authorities, also right-wing extremism can be ruled out as a motive. He said, the crime "had to do with the life" of the perpetrator and his "assignment of guilt".[10]

ContextEdit

The city of Münster had been planning to install security bollards in public areas, although the list of public spaces regarded as high-risk and slated to receive bollards did not include the location of this attack.[11]

ReactionsEdit

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that she was "deeply shocked" about the crime. The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, expressed his condolences to the victims and relatives. Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin condemned the crime and offered their sympathies. A public memorial service was held on the following Sunday.[12]

See alsoEdit

  • 2016 Berlin attack, in which a truck was deliberately driven into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 11 people and injuring 56 others.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Münster attack victim dies weeks after rampage | DW | 26.04.2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  2. ^ NOS news
  3. ^ a b Chelsom-Pill, Charlotte (10 April 2018). "German city of Münster searches for answers, days after deadly van attack". USA Today. DW. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Two killed in Germany as van ploughs into crowd in Muenster". BBC News. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Minibus crashes into a crowd in Germany leaving two dead". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  6. ^ Huggler, Justin (8 April 2018). "German police arrest men suspected of terror plot on Berlin half marathon". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b Diehl, Jörg; Hagen, Kevin (2018-04-07). "Attacke in Münster: Täter soll psychische Probleme gehabt haben" [Attack in Münster: perpetrator has had mental health problems]. Spiegel Online (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  8. ^ "Minibus crashes into a crowd in Germany leaving two dead". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  9. ^ Jens R. hat seine Tat offensichtlich perfide kalkuliert, Die Welt, 7 April 2018
  10. ^ Kein rechtsextremer Hintergrund bei Todesfahrt von Münster, Rheinische Post, 19 April 2018
  11. ^ "Do bollards offer protection against vehicle attacks?". DW. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  12. ^ Merkel „zutiefst erschüttert“ – Trump und Putin kondolieren, Die Welt, 7 April 2018