Syrian refugee stabs psychologist to death: police

A 27-year-old Syrian man was arrested on Wednesday after he stabbed and killed a refugee aid worker during an argument in a Red Cross therapy and counselling centre, police said.

Syrian refugee stabs psychologist to death: police
The Red Cross building where the stabbing took place. Photo: DPA.

The unnamed suspect, who also injured himself, was arrested shortly after the attack in Saarbrücken, near the French border, and was then hospitalized, police said.

The victim was a psychologist who worked with traumatized refugees, said the German Red Cross.

According to police, the suspect had gotten into an argument during a counselling session with the 30-year-old psychologist and stabbed him with a knife. The psychologist died of his injuries at the therapy centre. The reason for the conflict is still unclear, but police said they had ruled out terrorism.

Die Welt reported that the psychologist had himself immigrated to Germany, moving to the country from Iraq in 2005. The victim, Musaab al-T., completed his bachelor's degree in psychology in Saarbrücken and was finishing his master's degree.

“I was born and raised in war,” he had told the Saarbrücker Zeitung last year.

German Red Cross president Rudolf Seiters said he was “appalled and shocked” by the crime.

“All of the German Red Cross mourns the admirable worker,” Seiters added. “Our sympathy is with the family members.”

A spokesman from the Red Cross said that there is always a risk in working with people coming from war-torn countries. The state Red Cross in Saarland has about 2,500 full-time employees, and more than 6,000 volunteers.

Germany has taken in more than one million asylum seekers since 2015, about half of them from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.


Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.