German police have made several raids while hunting for the attacker of Cologne’s train station, hinting that there is a very high probability of the suspect being a 55-year-old Syrian man with a German residency visa.
German Authorities in Cologne have raided a flat today, October 16th while looking for yesterday’s Cologne hostage taker in the city’s central station. The suspect is already in custody and apparently severely wounded, suggesting that he put up serious resistance.
The suspect according to German newspaper Deutsche Welle is a 55-year-old Syrian man, arrived in Germany in 2015 and had asylum status until 2021. He also has accrued 13 criminal offences since arriving in the country but the police so far have not pronounced themselves about the attacker’s intention. According to Cologne deputy police chief Miriam Brauns: “The investigation is considering all possibilities and we are not ruling out terrorism”.
Recap – What happened yesterday, October 15th in Cologne’s train station?
- Starting on Monday afternoon, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into McDonald’s central train station by a man, injuring 3 people, one of them seriously. Eyewitnesses have said that a young woman has fled the fast food restaurant with her legs on fire. The attack also triggered the restaurant’s alarms and sprinkler systems.
- Moments later, the man took a woman hostage in a nearby pharmacy. The police were immediately called to the place and deployed its special units with a negotiation team running to the scene. One of the man’s demands was the release of a Tunisian woman.
- After establishing contact, the man, who apparently holds a gun, police entered the pharmacy and during the takeover, the man suffered a serious gunshot wound. The hostage, however, was released and received medical care for her light injuries.
- The suspect also survived after receiving life-threatening wounds and is now receiving medical treatment at an intensive care unit.
The investigation of this crime is now at “full speed” according to German police in hope of finding out more details about the intentions and motives of the Cologne train station attacker. Germany has been the epicentre of the migrant crisis ever since it started in 2015 with the first terror-related attacks carried out by migrants in December 2016, on the Berlin Market terrorist attack that killed 12 people and seriously injured 56 others.