'Islamic extremist' slashes five on German train before cop steps in

Knifeman stabs and slashes five on German commuter train in ‘Islamic extremist’ attack before being overpowered by hero plain-clothes cop

  • Terrorist knifed passengers on rush hour service near Aachen, western Germany
  • Iraq-born suspect, 31, disarmed by off-duty policeman, 60, and two passengers
  • Hero cop said after intervention: ‘I was on my way to work, that’s all I can say’ 
  • Interior minister Reul: ‘A cruel act that was stopped [with] tremendous courage’
  • Suspected Islamist reported by refugee home where he was living five years ago
  • A suspected Islamist terrorist today knifed five people on a packed commuter train before he was outmuscled by a 60-year-old off-duty policeman.

    The Iraq-born suspect, 31, was disarmed and arrested after 7.40am today in Herzogenrath, a suburb of Aachen, western Germany.

    He was pulled off the train by police after the ‘indiscriminate and arbitrary’ attack and put in a body suit to protect the crime scene and his identity, cops said.

    More than 200 emergency services workers attended the scene. 

    Emergency service workers attend the scene outside Aachen, western Germany this morning

    Emergency service workers attend the scene outside Aachen, western Germany this morning

    German interior minister Herbert Reul celebrated the police officer’s ‘tremendous courage’ in halting the ‘cruel act’.

    The hero cop, who worked with two fellow passengers to stop the attack, told BILD: ‘I was on my way to work, that’s all I can say.’

    A police spokesman told the newspaper: ‘He was taken away without leaving any traces in order to secure evidence and traces, for example on his outer clothing.’

    The alleged perpetrator suffered injuries while being disarmed and was taken to hospital. 

    Three victims are also being treated in hospital with injuries. 

    None are thought to be life-threatening.

    The suspect (pictured in a body suit) had his privacy protected as he was put into a cop car

    The suspect (pictured in a body suit) had his privacy protected as he was put into a cop car

    The stabbing suspect arrived in Germany as an asylum seeker. 

    He was reported by his refugee home as a possible extremist ‘test case’ five years ago, according to Mr Reul.

    Herbert Reul said the off-duty cop showed 'tremendous courage' to halt the attack

    Herbert Reul said the off-duty cop showed ‘tremendous courage’ to halt the attack

    The minister added: ‘According to everything we know so far, we have to assume that this act was a [terrorist] act.’

    Cologne Police Department added: ‘The police are on site with strong forces and have, among other things, taken over the care of the witnesses present on the train.

    ‘The Cologne Criminal Police Department has started investigating the identity of the attacker and the background to the crime. The railway line near Herzogenrath is currently closed.’

    At 4.30pm this afternoon, the force confirmed trains in the area were back up and running.

    It’s not known what motivated the suspect’s attack nor to which country he holds citizenship.