Muhammad Riyad: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Muhammad Riyad ISIS video

(Screengrab from ISIS propaganda video)

An Afghan refugee hacked multiple people with an axe on a commuter train in Germany in what one official called “probably an Islamist attack.” He has been named as 17-year-old Muhammad Riyad. The incident happened on the night of July 18 in Würzburg-Heidingsfeld, around 70 miles north-east of Nuremberg.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Islamic State Has Claimed Riyad as a Member

An interior ministry spokesman said that “it is quite probable that this was an Islamist attack,” reports the AFP. The spox added that the attacker allegedly shouted ‘Allahu akbar.’

Germany train attack: local German authorities being extremely cautiousSubscribe to France 24 now : http://f24.my/youtubeEN FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 http://f24.my/YTliveEN German police shot dead a 17-year-old Afghan refugee Monday after he attacked train passengers with an axe and a knife, seriously wounding four in what one official said was a "probable" Islamist attack. Visit our website :…2016-07-19T09:14:54.000Z

The Washington Post reports that the Islamic State has claimed Riyad as member, referring to him as a “fighter” in a propaganda statement. The newspaper quotes the group’s news agency, Amaq, referring to Riyad being “one of the fighters of the Islamic State and the fighter answered calls to target countries of the coalition that is fighting the Islamic State.” The Post adds that an initial search of Riyad’s room recovered a hand painted ISIS flag.

Bild reports that authorities also found a text from Riyad that read like a goodbye message. The newspaper, citing official sources, says that there is evidence that the attacker was not radicalized until recently. That source added that Riyad “was not a very devout Muslim.”

isis, islamic state, maan city, jordan, terrorism

The ISIS flag. (YouTube screengrab)

Riyad was armed with both an axe and a knife during the attack, reports the Associated Press.


2. The Train Was Described as Looking Like a ‘Slaughterhouse’

A police spokesman, Fabien Hench, told Sky News that some of the victims are in life-threatening condition. In an official statement, local police said that four people are in very serious condition. Bild reports that among the victims are four tourists from Hong Kong. One member of their family, a 17-year-old boy, survived unharmed.

Two of the victims of the attack, 31-year-old Edmund Au Yeung, and his girlfriend, Yau Hiu-tung, 27, <a href="http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/1991626/two-hongkongers-critically-hurt-german-axe-attack-afghan"  target="_blank">reports the South China Morning Post</a>. Hiu-tung's mother and father were also injured, according to the newspaper.

Two of the victims of the attack, 31-year-old Edmund Au Yeung, and his girlfriend, Yau Hiu-tung, 27, reports the South China Morning Post. Hiu-tung’s mother and father were also injured, according to the newspaper.

Bild reports that witnesses described the scene on the train as looking like a “slaughterhouse.”

Germany: train attacker was a 17-year-old Afghan who came to Europe as refugee, shot dead by policeGermany train attack: attacker was a 17-year-old Afghan, who came alone as a refugee. He was shot dead by police.2016-07-18T23:14:28.000Z

The Wall Street Journal’s Anton Troianovski reports that most of those “injured” are being treated for shock.


3. Riyad Had Been Living With a Foster Family in Germany

Germany Train Axe Attack ISIS

The train where the horrifying attack took place. (Getty)

The Minister of Interior for Bavaria, Joachim Herrmann, said that the Riyad was a 17-year-old from Afghanistan. The minister added that the suspect came to Germany as a refugee. The Daily Telegraph reports that Riyad had been living with a foster family in the country prior to the attack. Authorities initially believed that he acted alone.

BR24 reports that officials in Germany believe that the attack was “politically motivated” and that Riyad had the intention of killing.

German newspaper Welt reports that Riyad first came to Germany in 2014. He was registered as an asylum. In March 2016, he had been living in a group home and since July 2016 he had been moved to a foster family.

The Wall Street Journal’s Anton Trioanvoski reports that the suspect was killed. This was later confirmed by the Bavarian interior ministry in Munich. The ministry said that Riyad was shot as he tried to flee the scene.

The town of Wurzberg is the home of Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. After the attack, he tweeted that he was “speechless.”


4. There Are More Than 150,000 Afghan Migrants in Germany

Afghan refugees in Germany ask to return home | DW NewsRezwan Mohammadi’s mother insisted he leave Afghanistan to avoid the fate of his father and brother who were killed by local militia. Now in Germany, he finds himself stuck in limbo. He says he’s ready to go home – despite the risks. More news:http://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-90972016-04-11T15:11:17.000Z

In total, there over 1 million migrants in Germany, 150,000 of whom are Afghani, reported the Washington Post.

On the day of the train attack, one of Germany’s far-right leaders, Lutz Bachmann, was arrested on charges of inciting racial hatred, reported the Guardian. Bachmann had earlier been fired for referring to refugees as “cattle” and “scum.”


5. The Attack Comes as All of Europe Is on Edge Following the Killing of Over 80 People in a Truck Attack in France

Video Shows Police Shooting at Truck in Nice | Nice Attack | The New York TimesA bystander captured footage of the police shooting at the truck that plowed through a crowd in Nice, France, on Thursday after it appeared to have stopped. Produced by: NADER EL SHAFEI, VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/29YnOQc Subscribe to the Times Video newsletter for free and get a handpicked selection of the…2016-07-15T14:50:15.000Z

This attack comes less than a week after Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel killed 84 people in Nice on Bastille Day. Bouhlel, a Tunisian immigrant to France, was reported by the Daily Mail to have been a homosexual. He was killed at the scene of his crime by responding police. In response to the attack, French authorities extended the country’s state of emergency by three months.