The Latest: Merkel pledges justice after IS attacks

AP News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2016 7:19 AM
The Latest: Merkel pledges justice after IS attacks

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on a series of attacks in Germany (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel says the fact that two men who came to Germany as refugees carried out attacks claimed by the Islamic State group "mocks the country that took them in."

Merkel pledged at a news conference Thursday to do everything to clear up the "barbaric acts," find out who was behind them and bring them to justice. She says Germany owes that not just to victims and relatives and other Germans, but also to other refugees.

Merkel said that Germany will do "everything humanly possible" to ensure security, though there will have to be a "thorough analysis" before specific new measures are drawn up.

She said that Germany will "stick to our principles" and give shelter to those who deserve it. She is sticking to her insistence last year that Germany "will manage" the challenges it faces.

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1:05 p.m.

Bavaria's interior minister says the Munich shooter who went on a rampage that killed nine appeared to have seen it as an "especially positive fate" that his birthday was on the same day as Adolf Hitler's, April 20.

Joachim Herrmann also told reporters Thursday that the 18-year-old German-Iranian assailant nourished sympathies for the Norwegian mass shooter Anders Behring Breivik who killed 77 people five years before the attack in Munich on the same date, July 22.

Herrmann said that, despite this, there was no indication that the Munich attacker was involved in right-wing networks.

The assailant killed nine people and wounded 36 in a shopping mall before killing himself.

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12:35 p.m.

Bavaria's top security official says the Syrian asylum-seeker who blew himself up outside a bar in southern Germany was in an online chat shortly before the explosion with a person in the Middle East.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann didn't specify Thursday which country the person was in and added that investigators don't know his or her identity, news agency dpa reported.

Attacker Mohammed Daleel died and 15 people were wounded when his bomb exploded outside a wine bar Sunday night after he was denied entry to a nearby open-air concert because he didn't have a ticket. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Herrmann said that whoever the assailant was chatting to knew he had explosives. He said that when Daleel said there were security staff near the festival, the unknown person said he should find a way in.

Herrmann gave initial details on the chat Wednesday, saying the chat partner had a "significant influence" on the attack.

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12:05 p.m.

Investigators say an 18-year-old German-Iranian who killed nine people and injured 36 in a Munich rampage left a several-pages-long document about his psychiatric illnesses, his school situation and his neighborhood.

Munich prosecutors and the Bavarian state criminal police office said in a joint statement Thursday they were still evaluating which parts of the document were fiction and which were based on reality.

The statement also said that investigators were currently following some 1,750 tips in the case and that more than 1,000 files have been uploaded to their server.

Many bystanders shot footage on their phones as the rampage unfolded. The shooter eventually killed himself.

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11:50 a.m.

Authorities say they searched a room at a refugee accommodation center in southwestern Germany after a 20-year-old Syrian man allegedly boasted of having contacts with the Islamic State group and said he had fought in Syria.

Prosecutors and police in Stuttgart said two cellphones were seized in Thursday's search in the Heidenheim area and were being evaluated. The Syrian, who had no previous police record, was released following the search.

Authorities say there were never any indications of any possible plans for an attack.

Germany is on edge after four attacks in the space of week, two of which were claimed by IS.

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11:15 a.m.

Bavarian officials have presented an anti-terror plan following four attacks in Germany in a week, two of which were claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said Thursday that his state — where three of the four attacks took place — would hire 2,000 additional police officers until 2020, improve police equipment and create new offices to fight Muslim extremism and cybercrime.

He also called for tougher background checks on asylum-seekers and new strategies to deport criminal asylum-seekers more easily. Three of the four attacks were committed by asylum-seekers.

Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback said at a news conference with Herrmann: "The threat of Salafist terrorism has arrived in Europe, in Germany, but also in Bavaria."

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9:30 a.m.

Germany's commissioner for immigration, refugees and integration is calling on mosques across the country to be more pro-active when it comes to preventing extremism among Muslim youths.

Aydan Ozoguz said in an interview Thursday with the daily Heilbronner Stimme: "We need to hold mosques more responsible when it comes to prevention among teenagers."

Ozoguz' call against Muslim extremism came after four violent attacks that shook the country recently.

Two of them were the first in Germany claimed by the extremist Islamic State group. The attackers were asylum-seekers who hadn't grown up in Germany.

On Wednesday night, police raided a mosque believed to be a "hot spot" for Islamic extremists in the city of Hildesheim. The raid didn't appear to be connected to the recent attacks.