The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for an attack by an axe-wielding Afghan refugee on a German train, according to its online Amaq news agency.
“The perpetrator of the stabbing attack in Germany was one of the fighters of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in answer to the calls to target the countries of the coalition fighting the Islamic State,” the statement said.
A hand-drawn Islamic State flag was found in the room of the 17-year-old who attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany, a senior state official said on Tuesday.
The teen severely wounded four passengers before police shot him dead late on Monday -- days after a Tunisian delivery man ploughed a 19-tonne truck into crowds of revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 84.
The case is likely to deepen worries about so-called “lone wolf” attacks in Europe and could put political pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany over the past year.
Two of those injured in the attacks were in a critical condition and several of the injured included members of a Chinese family, he added, without giving any further details.
At least one witness reported that the attacker, who had been living with a foster family in the nearby town of Ochsenfurt, had shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest), Herrmann told ZDF television.
“All of that has to be put together in a large mosaic as to what his motivations were, and to what extent he can be counted as an Islamist, or to what extent he radicalised himself in recent times,” Herrmann said. “We are pursuing every piece of evidence.”
Herrmann told the Bayerischer Rundfunk radio station in a separate interview that the attacker had come to Germany as an unaccompanied minor about two years ago.
He started attacking his passengers with an axe and a knife as the train was approaching its last stop, the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg.
He fled after the emergency brake was pulled and was pursued by a police unit and shot dead when he tried to attack the officers, officials said.
The South China Morning Post said the injured passengers were from Hong Kong.