The bomb attack on Dresden was exaggerated
The two Dresden visitors from North Rhine-Westphalia had no chance. The man with the knives approached them from behind and stabbed surprisingly. Any help came too late for Thomas L., a 55-year-old from Krefeld, and he died of serious internal injuries. His partner Oliver L. (53) from Cologne survived seriously injured. What exactly happened on the evening of October 4, 2020 in downtown Dresden has been the focus of the trial against Abdullah H. before the State Security Senate of the Dresden Higher Regional Court (OLG) since Monday.
15 days after the attack, the police arrested the 21-year-old Syrian. He had only been free since September 29, five days before the crime. By then he had served a youth sentence of three years and one month - among other things for planning a suicide bombing, advertising for foreign terrorist organizations, and assault. Abdullah H. was seen as an Islamist threat, but apparently there was no way of imprisoning him any longer. He had to report to the police three times a week and had been observed at times.
On Monday, he remains handcuffed when he is led into the hall. The main hearing takes place under increased security precautions in a building on Dresden's Hammerweg. The public prosecutor's office accuses the 21-year-old of murder, attempted murder and dangerous bodily harm. According to public prosecutor Marco Mayer, he stabbed the injured party out of insidiousness and low motives, whom he perceived as homosexual.
Stabbed from behind
For the accused, the men are "representatives of a liberal and open social order that he rejected as unbelieving" and that he wanted to punish with death. H. approached the victims from behind in Rosmaringasse at around 8.26 p.m. and first stabbed Thomas L. in the back with a kitchen knife with a 21 centimeter long blade. He punctured the kidney and liver.
Due to the force of the stab, the blade broke off. Immediately afterwards, H. stabbed Oliver L. with his second knife. Both men went to the bow and fought back. H. inflicted further stitches on them before he fled.
The 21-year-old does not provide any information. "My client will defend himself in silence," says defense attorney Peter Hollstein. The presiding judge Hans Schlueter-Staats seems to have expected it. Immediately afterwards he calls the first witness. The psychiatric expert Norbert Leygraf had only examined the defendant three weeks ago. The forensic psychiatrist spoke to the defendant for six and a half hours under tightened security precautions, sat behind a partition and remained handcuffed.
H. was "friendly and affectionate", told him his life story and made extensive comments on the crime. For example, he told the appraiser that homosexuals are enemies of God. He said he tried to get weapons to kill infidels while in prison. He was sure to do something, even if he didn't know when and to whom. H. reported that he bought two sets of knives two or three days after his release. He put the two longest knives in his pocket on the day of the tattoo. On the way to the city center, he prayed in a mosque. In the evening he was looking for targets.
Apparently it could have happened to just about anyone. He reported to the witness that he followed several people at least briefly. But once he was let out of a group because a woman was among them. He did not want to attack women and old people. Then he noticed the couple of men, hand in hand. They “laughed together, played together, as he said,” reports the expert. He chose them as a target because they were homosexuals. Homosexuals should be fought and killed as enemies of God. After all, God created women and men to father children - according to the defendant's view of the world.
He stabbed "not with the heart"
Then he described details of the bloody act to the expert. Originally, he did not want to run away, but “wanted to sacrifice himself too,” said Leygraf. He had spent the night in a house and returned to his accommodation in Dresden-Pappritz the next morning.
According to Leygraf, the accused had expressed himself thoughtfully and in an "irritating manner self-critical" about the crime during his conversation with him. Because he reproached himself for not being strong enough. He stabbed, but "not with the heart." The fact that one of the two knives broke off was also taken as evidence of insufficient strength. In fact, he could not see anything wrong, he told the appraiser. He only saw a mistake in not having come to an understanding with representatives of the caliphate beforehand and having sworn an oath of allegiance to IS. The next morning he thought "He could now prepare for bigger things, in Syria or here."
The young Syrian also told the psychiatrist about his childhood. He grew up with eight siblings near Aleppo, and his father traded in fuel. As a child and adolescent, Abdullah H. also stood by the street “day and night” to sell diesel. When, due to the turmoil of the civil war, not so much traffic passed by, the business got worse and worse. The 21-year-old said his family asked him in 2015 to flee to Germany and catch them up. He received 1,600 US dollars for the escape on the Balkan route.
He was traveling with two cousins and arrived in Munich in autumn 2015. There they had escaped, allegedly to visit an aunt in Dortmund and from there to travel to Norway. It never came to that. H. changed accommodations several times, also because he was unable to adapt there. Most recently, in an accommodation near Radeberg, he made himself two years older in order to be able to leave the facility in which he was housed as a so-called unaccompanied youth. That worked. A cousin found him an apartment in Dresden at the beginning of 2017.
It is already known from his earlier trial at the Higher Regional Court that Abdullah H. became increasingly radicalized from around the end of 2016. He also confirmed this to the forensic psychiatrist. According to Leygraf, the defendant turned night into day and day into night. He has seen an extremely large number of YouTube videos and spent a lot of time on social media, for example chatting with like-minded people. Abduallah H. perceived the prosperity here as injustice in view of the misery in his homeland.
The witness says that the defendant told him a lot and spoke fluently. He also reported on the killing "as in the film", calmly and prudently, "not nailed up". That was different with the reports about his escape. They would have seemed exaggerated to him, not even experienced them.
The court has scheduled twelve session days until the end of May. The main hearing will continue on Friday. The State Security Senate must check whether the accused, who was still an adolescent at the time of the offense, is to be sentenced under juvenile or adult criminal law. As an adult, the intensive offender threatens to be placed in preventive detention after his prison sentence has been carried out. Such precautionary measures are also conceivable in juvenile criminal law, according to the indictment of the federal prosecutor's office, for the defendant the reservation of preventive detention under juvenile criminal law is also possible.
Defense attorney Hollstein cannot imagine that his client could be convicted under adult criminal law. “If my client had a lack of maturity when he was last convicted in November 2018, then this also applies to the time of the offense. Where should a subsequent ripening have happened? ”The 21-year-old is also of the opinion that the Senate is not responsible for him because he is in earthly judgment. (with dpa)
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