Munich shooter's confused, contradictory motives

The identity of the 18 year old German of Iranian descent who killed 10 people in a rampage at a McDonald's before committing suicide is still not known. Neither is his motive.

Eyewitness reports have been contradictory and the authorities aren't helping much by declaring no links to ISIS can be found. This may be true, but clearing up the mystery of why this young man targeted teenagers is going to take some time. And, as we saw yesterday, jumping to conclusions is not helpful.

Meanwhile, we have one witness claiming the gunman shouted "Alahu Akbar" while firing. The witness is a young Muslim woman.

But other eyewitnesses said the gunman shouted "I am German. **** foreigners." Another eyewitness said the gunman shouted to bystanders "I was bullied." 

Police say they can find no jihadist links on his personal computer. But what they did find is leading them away from Islamic terror and toward a conclusion that the young shooter was obsessed with mass killings.

CNN:

But officers found evidence the shooter had been researching shooting rampages, including a book entitled "Rampage in My Mind -- Why Students Kill," according to Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office.

Munich investigators said there were "certain connections" between the Friday attack and the 2011 mass shooting by Anders Breivik in Norway which left 77 people dead exactly five years earlier.

Investigators pointed to several connections: the date of the shooting was the fifth anniversary of the Norway attack, the age of the victims was similar and the attacker extensively researched mass shootings.

But what of his declarations while carrying out the attack?

One witness said the gunman cursed foreigners while carrying out his attack and was overheard yelling: "You damn foreigners."

During the rampage, the shooter got into an argument with a witness and their profanity-filled conversation was captured on two camera phones and posted on social media. The shooter was heard saying: "I am German. Are you happy now? I was born here ..." He insulted Turks in the exchange.

So the only hard evidence we have of what he said during the attack references a hatred for immigrants. Coupled with a fascination - or obsession - with mass killings, It's hard to reach the conclusion there was a religious motivation for the killings.

Instead, this may be more akin to a Columbine type shooting - off school grounds. His targets were teenagers and while authorities aren't releasing specifics about the shooter being a victim of bullying, the implication is that he may have sought revenge.

The shooter had received medical treatment for mental issues, a police official said Saturday in a press conference, and investigators are still looking into his mental condition.

He was born and raised in Munich. Before Friday's attack, the teenager had not been known to police. In fact, he had been a victim of "bodily harm" in an incident that involved other young people in 2012 and was the victim of theft in 2011, police said on Saturday.

Yesterday, it was easy to fall into the trap of jumping to conclusions about the shooter's motives.The previous few weeks had seen a spate of terror attacks in France and Germany. There still could be a religious angle that has yet to be discovered, but most of the signs point to a deluded and possibly mentally ill teenager taking his revenge on his tormentors.

 

The identity of the 18 year old German of Iranian descent who killed 10 people in a rampage at a McDonald's before committing suicide is still not known. Neither is his motive.

Eyewitness reports have been contradictory and the authorities aren't helping much by declaring no links to ISIS can be found. This may be true, but clearing up the mystery of why this young man targeted teenagers is going to take some time. And, as we saw yesterday, jumping to conclusions is not helpful.

Meanwhile, we have one witness claiming the gunman shouted "Alahu Akbar" while firing. The witness is a young Muslim woman.

But other eyewitnesses said the gunman shouted "I am German. **** foreigners." Another eyewitness said the gunman shouted to bystanders "I was bullied." 

Police say they can find no jihadist links on his personal computer. But what they did find is leading them away from Islamic terror and toward a conclusion that the young shooter was obsessed with mass killings.

CNN:

But officers found evidence the shooter had been researching shooting rampages, including a book entitled "Rampage in My Mind -- Why Students Kill," according to Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office.

Munich investigators said there were "certain connections" between the Friday attack and the 2011 mass shooting by Anders Breivik in Norway which left 77 people dead exactly five years earlier.

Investigators pointed to several connections: the date of the shooting was the fifth anniversary of the Norway attack, the age of the victims was similar and the attacker extensively researched mass shootings.

But what of his declarations while carrying out the attack?

One witness said the gunman cursed foreigners while carrying out his attack and was overheard yelling: "You damn foreigners."

During the rampage, the shooter got into an argument with a witness and their profanity-filled conversation was captured on two camera phones and posted on social media. The shooter was heard saying: "I am German. Are you happy now? I was born here ..." He insulted Turks in the exchange.

So the only hard evidence we have of what he said during the attack references a hatred for immigrants. Coupled with a fascination - or obsession - with mass killings, It's hard to reach the conclusion there was a religious motivation for the killings.

Instead, this may be more akin to a Columbine type shooting - off school grounds. His targets were teenagers and while authorities aren't releasing specifics about the shooter being a victim of bullying, the implication is that he may have sought revenge.

The shooter had received medical treatment for mental issues, a police official said Saturday in a press conference, and investigators are still looking into his mental condition.

He was born and raised in Munich. Before Friday's attack, the teenager had not been known to police. In fact, he had been a victim of "bodily harm" in an incident that involved other young people in 2012 and was the victim of theft in 2011, police said on Saturday.

Yesterday, it was easy to fall into the trap of jumping to conclusions about the shooter's motives.The previous few weeks had seen a spate of terror attacks in France and Germany. There still could be a religious angle that has yet to be discovered, but most of the signs point to a deluded and possibly mentally ill teenager taking his revenge on his tormentors.