Munich gunman may be ‘inspired’ by Norwegian terrorist

BERLIN (AA) – A German-Iranian teenager who gunned down nine people and injured 27 others at a shopping mall in Munich Friday night may have been inspired by far-right Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s 2011 rampage, officials have said.

Police Chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters initial investigation revealed no information suggesting the 18-year-old suspect, who killed himself after the incident, had any political motivation or ties to the terrorist group, Daesh.

“During searches at the room of the suspect, we have found documents on the topic of rampage, showing that the perpetrator has long intensively engaged in this,” he said, adding that they also found newspaper clippings and books about rampage in his room.

“Yesterday was the fifth anniversary,” Andrae noted, referring to the massacre by Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

“If one deals so much with the topic of rampage, then I believe one must consider in the first instance that he might also have been inspired by Breivik, as it is has been the biggest rampage so far,” he said.

The 18-year-old German national of Iranian descent, was born and grew up in Munich, and was a high school student, without any criminal record, according to police.

According to the initial information, he was in psychological care for some time due to depression, Chief Prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch said.

Video footage aired on N24 TV station showed the assailant randomly shooting at people Friday evening in front of a fast food restaurant near the Munich Olympia shopping center.

Andrae said the assailant had used a 9mm Glock pistol and had some 300 rounds of ammunition.

Most victims were teenagers and residents of Munich.

Three Turkish citizens were among the dead, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed Saturday.

Police said there were no tourists among the victims.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel convened an extraordinary meeting of the federal security council Saturday to review security measures following the rampage.

The shooting had alarmed authorities Friday evening amid growing threats by the terrorist group Daesh to launch attacks targeting European countries.

Police had declared an emergency situation and launched a major manhunt in Munich city soon after the incident, as eyewitness statements claimed three assailants with long guns were involved in the attack.

The Munich Olympia shopping center was evacuated and elite GSG 9 counterterrorism teams were sent to the city for a possible operation against the assailants.