German office missed deadline to deport Hamburg attacker

Germany’s migration office says officials missed a deadline two years ago to deport the Palestinian man identified as the suspect who fatally stabbed one person and wounded six others at a Hamburg supermarket last week.

Ahmad A. arrived from Norway in early 2015. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees told news agency dpa Tuesday that, in July 2015, the agency asked Norway to take him back. But the request was made one day after a deadline expired and Norway refused.

The office said it had been dealing with a large volume of asylum-seekers at the time.

German officials say that before Friday’s supermarket attack, Ahmad A. had been cooperating with officials to try to get him new Palestinian papers so he could be deported.

According to police, Ahmad A. on Friday afternoon grabbed a kitchen knife with a 20-centimeter (nearly eight-inch) blade from a supermarket shelf and stabbed three men, one of them fatally. He then left the supermarket and hurt another three people outside, not all of them with the knife. Passers-by then pursued and overwhelmed Ahmad A. who was arrested by police.

German officials later said he was on their radar as a suspected Islamic radical, but not as a “jihadist.” They said Ahmad A. had previously been interviewed by authorities, but he was determined to be a “destabilized personality” and not someone who posed an immediate danger.


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