HANAU, Germany (AP) — Authorities say a 43-year-old German who posted a manifesto calling for the “complete extermination” of various races and cultures shot and killed nine people, most of them Turkish, in an attack on a hookah bar and other sites in suburban Frankfurt.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that the shootings exposed the “poison” of racism in Germany.
The bloodshed comes amid growing concerns about far-right violence in Germany and stepped-up efforts from authorities to crack down on it.
Merkel has condemned the deadly shootings in Hanau and pledged to fight against those who try to divide the country along ethnic lines.
Speaking Thursday in Berlin, Merkel said “everything will be done to investigate the circumstances of these terrible murders” but that much indicated they were motivated by far-right and racist motives.
A 43-year-old German man shot and killed nine people at several locations in a Frankfurt suburb overnight.
Officials said the gunman first attacked a hookah bar at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, killing several people. Some of his victims are believed to be Turkish.
He then headed west and killed more victims.
The Federal Prosecutors Office in Karlsruhe, which handles serious crimes, has taken charge of the investigation. The move comes amid German media reports that an online video linked to the suspect indicated he may have had a far-right motive.
The attack follows several recent acts of far-right violence in Germany.
Hanau is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Frankfurt.
Paranoia, racism: German killer drew on conspiracy tropes
The gunman mixed extreme paranoia about secret state surveillance with far-right conspiracy tropes, misogyny and racist vitriol.
Authorities quickly pulled down his rambling screeds and videos, which touched on conspiracy theories that have spread from the U.S.
Experts say the online ramblings suggest he was influenced by a hodgepodge of paranoid conspiracy theories, including QAnon.
But experts say there are differences as well.
The German far-right attacker didn’t reference other attacks or perpetrators, extremist memes, or specific groups.
Investigators are looking into the attacker’s mental state and whether he had accomplices.
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