Suspect in German terror attack admits anti-Semitic motive

27-year-old Stephan Balliet admits to shooting rampage in Halle, confesses it was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Police officers at site of shooting in Halle, Germany
Police officers at site of shooting in Halle, Germany
Reuters

The German suspect in the deadly attack targeting a synagogue on Yom Kippur on Friday admitted to the shooting rampage and confessed that it was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism, federal prosecutors said.

The shooter, 27-year-old Stephan Balliet, made a "very comprehensive" confession during an interrogation lasting several hours, said a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe, according to AFP.

"He gave an extensive confession. He confirmed far-right and anti-Semitic motives" for the attack, the spokesman said.

Balliet is accused of shooting dead two people in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday, after he tried and failed to storm a synagogue.

The victims, a German man and woman, appeared to be chosen at random when the assailant failed to gain access to the synagogue he had besieged with gunfire and homemade explosives, as the frightened congregation barricaded itself inside.

The victims were identified in German media on Thursday as Jana Lange, 40, and Kevin S., 20.

Police eventually captured Balliet after a gun battle that left him wounded.

Balliet's lawyer Hans-Dieter Weber told public broadcaster Suedwestrundfunk that his client stood by his actions.

"It would be nonsensical to deny it, and he didn't do that," said Weber. "In his view of the world, he blames others for his own misery and that's what ultimately triggered his action."

Balliet was described on Thursday as a “frustrated, computer-obsessed loner” who lived with his mother.

His confession came as Jews prepared to mark the Sabbath, with solidarity action also planned across the country, including at the synagogue targeted in Halle.

Hours ahead of the Sabbath, Max Privorozki, who heads the Jewish community in Halle, said Jews would not allow themselves to be intimidated by the assault.

Around 50 people were in the synagogue to mark Yom Kippur, when the assailant had tried to shoot his way into the building.

Armed with weapons he is believed to have built himself and along with four kilos (nine pounds) of explosives in his car, Balliet began his rampage at noon.

Throughout a video the shooter made of his actions using a helmet-mounted smartphone, his rage bubbles to the surface, when he calls himself a "f***ng idiot", a "failure" and a "loser".

Investigators searching Balliet's father's apartment found a 3-D printer, which could have been used to manufacture firearms, according to Spiegel magazine.

Police have also confiscated a hard-drive from his bedroom in the apartment he shared with his divorced mother.

Federal prosecutor Peter Frank called the act "terror" and said it had been planned to be a "massacre".

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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