A 44-year-old would have tried to derail ICE trains no less than four times in Germany. The Iraqi is now on trial in Vienna with his wife. He supposedly didn’t want to kill anyone. The prosecution doesn’t believe him.
Vienna (dpa) – About two years after a series of Islamic attacks on ICE trains on the Munich-Nuremberg route, the trial of the 44-year-old suspect and his wife began in Vienna under strict security measures.
According to the public prosecutor, the suspect, from Iraq, tried to derail a total of four trains in Germany. He allegedly acted as a supporter of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia. Material damage was caused during the attacks. Nobody was hurt.
The couple are charged with multiple attempted murder as a terrorist offense, serious material damage as a terrorist offense and membership of a terrorist organization. It is also said to have had contacts with the Muslim scene in Switzerland and France. The man had lived in Austria as a recognized refugee since 2013. The verdict is expected next Thursday.
The 44-year-old pleaded guilty to serious property damage to the Vienna Regional Court. But he does not want to be seen as a terrorist on behalf of ISIS. His lawyer said his client was not interested in causing a disastrous train wreck. “He wanted to attract attention.” His goal was to withdraw foreign troops from Iraq. On the other hand, the public prosecutor said against the defendant: “You wanted to carry out attacks in the name of IS, cause the greatest possible material damage and personal injury.”
According to the prosecution, in three of the four cases he had his sights on the ICE route between Nuremberg and Munich. At Allersberg he attacked the trains with a beam construction, wooden wedges and later stretched over the tracks with a steel cable. An ICE with 160 passengers at a speed of 204 collided with the steel cable. Apart from a flash of light and damage to the windscreen and paint, nothing happened.
In addition, in December 2018, the suspect was alleged to have thrown a rope with hook claws on the overhead line at an S-Bahn station in Berlin to derail a train. This attack also failed. He forgot the original of a threatening letter while copying it in a copy shop. That became an important lead.