On Friday, security guards outside a Berlin synagogue stopped a knife-wielding attacker who was shouting “Allahu akbar” and “F*** Israel.” The assailant, later identified as a 23-year-old Syrian migrant, was allowed to walk free by the Berlin police, the German newspaper Bild reported.

The attacker climbed the security fence and drew a large knife before running at the guards. He was disarmed by the Berlin police using pepper spray. The police reportedly did not see any grounds for detaining the assailant, a spokeswoman for the Berlin police said. No injuries were sustained during the attack, media reports say.

Bild newspaper reported the the details of the attack:

The scene was dramatic when a man climbed up the security fence at the building [synagogue] in Oranienburger Straße. The 23-year-old Syrian, as his papers showed, ran towards the guards outside the Jewish place of worship with a drawn knife in his hand.

According to eyewitnesses and security guards, the man said quietly but audible “Allahu akbar,” the usual Islamic prayer chant. In addition to that he reportedly shouted “F*** Israel” as well.

The knife was later described by the security guards as having a 20cm long blade and of black color.

Both guards pulled their service weapons. One colleague radioed for back up, police spokeswoman said. “At the appearance of it, the security guards considered its an attack,” the spokeswoman for the police said. (…)

The man carrying knife is free to walk again. “The grounds for arrest do not exist,” the spokeswoman said. [Translated by the author]

The incident in Berlin comes amid growing antisemitic violence in Germany. Earlier this week, a 21-year-old Jewish woman was attacked in the Bavarian town on Massing. An “Arabic-speaking man” reportedly shouted antisemitic abuse at her and threw a stone hitting her head on Wednesday. The police were still looking for the attacker.

In 2018, the number of violent antisemitic attacks rose by 155 percent in Germany’s capital Berlin as compared to 2017, a report published by the watchdog Research and Information Center for Anti-Semitism (RIAS) showed.

As a result of rising antisemitism, German Jews suggest they no long feel safe on the streets. According to the local media reports, some 70 percent of Jews residing in Germany have stopped wearing Jewish symbols in public to avoid attacks from “migrants of Turkish and Arab origin.”

[Cover image via YouTube]


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