Nearly two years after a number of attacks on high-speed ICE trains in Germany, the trial of the 44-year-old suspect and his wife began in Austria under strict security measures. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the accused, who is of Iraqi origin and a member of the terrorist militia IS, allegedly tried to derail a total of four trains in 2018. Material damage was caused and nobody was injured.
The couple are accused of multiple attempted murder as a terrorist attack, serious damage to property as a terrorist attack and membership of a terrorist organisation. The 44-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge of serious damage to property. However, he did not wish to be considered a terrorist on behalf of the IS. The Iraqi has been living in Austria with refugee status since 2013.
According to the defence lawyer, his client had not acted with intent to kill, but only to attract attention. In contrast, the prosecutor said: “They wanted to commit attacks in the name of the IS, to cause the greatest possible damage to property, the greatest possible harm to persons”.
According to the prosecution, the man was targeting the ICE line between Nuremberg and Munich in three cases. Near Allersberg he had attacked the trains with a beam construction, with wooden chocks and later with a steel cable stretched over the tracks. In addition, in December 2018 he is said to have thrown a rope with claw hooks onto the overhead line at an suburban railway station in Berlin in order to derail a train.