Official: Ansbach Terrorist Pledged Allegiance to IS Chief

ANSBACH, Germany (AP) -
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere speaks during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Monday, July 25, 2016. De Maiziere said he has ordered increased security presence at airports, train stations and elsewhere in the wake of a series of attacks. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere speaks during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Monday. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

Bavaria’s top security official said Monday that a video has been found on the Ansbach bomber’s phone showing him pledging allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State terror group.

Joachim Herrmann said that according to an initial translation of the Arabic-language video, the 27-year-old man announced a “revenge” attack against Germany.

Herrmann told reporters that the video strongly suggests the bombing was a “terrorist attack.” Herrmann also said that officers discovered videos with “Salafist content” on storage devices seized at the 27-year-old Syrian man’s home.

He said that police also found gasoline, chemicals and other materials that could be used to make a bomb.

The unnamed 27-year-old Syrian was the only person killed in the blast. More than a dozen people were wounded.

A spokesman for Germany’s Interior Ministry said the man had received two deportation notices. Tobias Plate said the Syrian was most recently told on July 13 that he would be deported to Bulgaria. Plate told reporters that the first deportation notice was issued on Dec. 22, 2014.

He said the man was to be deported to Bulgaria because he had submitted his first asylum request in the southeastern European country.

Earlier, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that he ordered increased security presence at airports, train stations and elsewhere in the wake of a series of attacks.

He also urged people not to panic, adding that “naturally, people are concerned and are questioning whether they should change their routines. We should not. … We should continue to live our free lives.”

De Maiziere also said it would be wrong to put all refugees under general suspicion, “even if there are investigations in individual cases.”

The Funke newspaper group quoted him as saying, “We are currently talking about 59 investigations for possible links to terrorist structures, and that’s with many hundreds of thousands of newly arrived people.” He added that in the overwhelming number of cases, reports turn out not to be true.

De Maiziere called for Germany’s borders to be better protected without preventing refugees from coming to the country by legal and safe means — “in reasonable numbers.”

He noted that in the Munich gun attack there was no indication that the perpetrator, the German-born son of Iranian asylum-seekers, had failed to integrate in German society.