BERLIN (Reuters) - German police have arrested a 20-year-old Syrian suspected of attacking two tourists in the eastern city of Dresden at the start of October, killing one of them, police said on Wednesday.
The man was taken into custody late on Tuesday after investigators found traces linking him to the crime, Dresden police said in a statement.
“Investigations have shown that the dreadful killing in Dresden had an Islamist background,” justice minister Christine Lambrecht said. “Islamist terror is a major, enduring threat to our society that we have to tackle determinedly.”
The federal prosecutor’s office, which handles serious crimes including terrorism, had taken over investigations in the case, she added.
Spiegel magazine reported the suspect had been known as an Islamist radical to German authorities for years. He had been sentenced to more than two years in prison for incitement to crimes against the state and recruiting members to Islamic State in the past.
The Syrian had come to Germany in 2015, at the peak of the migrant crisis, and been refused asylum, Spiegel said. It was unclear why he attacked his victims.
The victims, one aged 53 and the other 55, were German men from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia on vacation in Dresden, according to the police. They were severely injured in the knife attack and the 55-year-old later died.
The arrest follows the beheading last week of a French teacher in a Paris suburb by a Chechen teenager for showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in class.
Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Giles Elgood and Catherine Evans
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