The Slatest

Ax Attack on German Train Appears to Have Been Inspired by ISIS

German emergency services responding early Tuesday to an ax attack on a train near the city of Wuerzburg.

Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

ISIS has claimed responsibility for inspiring a 17-year-old Afghan migrant to attack a number of passengers aboard a train in Germany with an ax, seriously injuring four people, late Monday night. From the New York Times:

The announcement, in a bulletin issued in Arabic and English via its Amaq News Agency, came after German authorities said that investigators had found a hand-drawn flag of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, in the room of the Afghan teenager, along with notes in Pashto indicating that he might have been self-radicalized.

After attacking passengers—the four who were seriously injured were a 62-year-old man and 58-year-old woman, their adult daughter, and her boyfriend, all visiting Germany from Hong Kong—the suspect fled into a nearby town where he was confronted by police and killed.

Slate’s Isaac Chotiner spoke last week to Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi about (among other subjects) ISIS’ approach to claiming and publicizing some but not all of the attacks perpetrated by radicalized individuals outside the Middle East. Noted Callimachi: “This is not—as people wrongly assume—a group that opportunistically claims anything and everything.”