The man who crashed his van outside a pub in Germany and killed two people while injuring many others, apparently, had “no motive” to do so.
The heinous act, yet to be termed as an act of terrorism by any organization, sheds lights at the glaring disparity when the perpetrator is Muslim and when he is not.
It is a well-documented fact that attackers are usually given the benefit of a doubt when they is not Muslim whereas, for similar crimes, Muslim attackers are conveniently and almost immediately labeled terrorists by media outlets.
The attacker, after ramming his van into a group of people drinking outside a famous pub in Muenster, also shot himself to death inside the van.
The police say he had a “troubled” past with various run-ins with authorities over incidents of a hit-and-run and violent threats. He also allegedly emailed his neighbor about suicidal thoughts he was having.
The man was allegedly well-off with at least four apartments. After the police were made aware of the disturbing e-mail to his neighbor, they tried to search for him at all his residencies but did not find him before the attack.
The police are still looking for evidence to find the attacker’s motive for this crime.
“We have no indications that there is a political background or that others were involved,” prosecutor Elke Adomeit told reporters. “But he was well known to the police.”
The two victims of the incident are reported to be a 51-year old woman and a 65-year old man, whose identities were not disclosed, as per Germany’s laws. The bodies of the victims along with that of the perpetrator were taken away from the crime scene in front of the famous Kiepenkerl pub.
The vehicle used for this abhorrent act was thoroughly checked by explosive experts, and they found illegal firecrackers disguised as bombs, a fake fire arm and a real pistol the attacker used to commit suicide.
The apartment where the perpetrator was staying held similar explosives including a “non-usable” AK-47 machine gun, gas bottles and canisters containing gasoline and bio-ethanol.
“We are now focusing our investigations on getting a comprehensive picture of the perpetrator’s behavior in the weeks (before the crash) to find out his motivation for this horrible act,” Muenster Police President Hajo Kuhlisch said in the statement.
Some of the 20 people also hit by the van are said to be in critical condition. Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state, said some of the victims identified as Dutch citizens.
“This was a horrible and sad day for the people of Muenster, all of Germany … and also the people of the Netherlands, who were sitting here and became victims,” he said.
The memorial for the deceased was arranged in the famous Paulus Cathedral where Bishop Felix Genn preached to a full-house of 700 people, including rescue teams, firefighters and emergency doctors.
Muenster is a popular tourist destination for its old town charm.
“This cowardly and brutal crime has shocked all of us,” said German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
Ironically, there is no mention from the police or the local authorities of an act of terror for something that was clearly a premeditated attack on peaceful citizens. The clear bias in reporting when the attacker is not Muslim shows through in the lack of condemnation despite several explosive and dangerous substances found in possession of the man who was clearly planning to go through with this horrendous crime.
Similar disparity is seen when the terrorist is white; more often than not, media avoids calling out white terrorists usually citing mental illness or brushes with the law as an excuse for their crimes. Previously, the Austin bombing suspect Mark Anthony Conditt was not referred as a terrorist despite killing and injuring people by planting a series of bombs across Austin.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler