At the weekend, Isis claimed responsibility for a knife attack in Hamburg on October 16th by a man who fatally stabbed a 16-year-old boy, while the victim’s 15-year-old female friend escaped.
“A soldier of the Islamic State stabbed two individuals in Hamburg city on the 16th of this month,” the Isis-affiliated news agency Amaq’s report said, in response to “calls to target the citizens of coalition countries” that are fighting Isis in Iraq and Syria.
Authorities are still looking into Isis’ claim of responsibility.
Police said on Tuesday that they have now contacted more than 11,500 doctors around the city to help identify the attacker, described as being between 23 and 25 years old and having a cut on his hand. Investigators said the man had injured himself during the fatal stabbing and may have sought treatment.
A Hamburg Chamber of Doctors spokeswoman said that it was very unusual for police to contact such a large number of doctors in an investigation and could not remember a similar case.
Police, though, said that they often contact medical professions or hospitals in similar investigations.
The Chamber of Doctors spokeswoman explained that doctors are bound by patient confidentiality, but that in certain individual cases they may break this silence if they have evidence that the patient could put themselves or others in danger.
Germany has been on high alert for terrorism since mass attacks claimed by Isis elsewhere in Europe, as well as two Isis-linked attacks in southern Germany and several high-profile arrests of suspected terrorists in the country more recently.
In July, two asylum seekers who reportedly had links to Isis committed violent attacks in southern Germany. One 17-year-old from Afghanistan attacked train passengers with an axe in Würzburg, and within a week a 27-year-old from Syria detonated a bomb in Ansbach, killing himself and injuring more than a dozen others.
Earlier this month, police managed to arrest a man they believed to be plotting a bomb attack in Berlin for Isis, after three Syrian refugees recognized him and alerted police. The suspect, Jaber Albakr, was subsequently found dead in his prison cell in an apparent suicide