Germany: Stabbings and Knife Crimes are at Record High

ER Editor: We also recommend this piece by FreeWest Media titled Migrants over-represented in knife-crime spike in Oslo.


Germany: Stabbings and Knife Crimes at Record High

  • Police reported more than 4,100 knife-related crimes in 2018, compared to around 3,800 reported during 2017 — and only 400 in 2008. Overall, during the past ten years, knife-related crimes in Germany have increased by more than 900% — from one a day to more than ten a day.
  • German media do not report most knife-related violence. Crimes that are reported are often dismissed as “isolated incidents” that are unrelated to mass immigration. Moreover, many crime reports, including those in police blotters, omit references to the nationalities of the perpetrators and victims — apparently to avoid inflaming anti-immigration sentiments…. Many Germans have the sense that danger lurks everywhere, but the lack of official statistics seemingly allows German authorities to pretend that the problem is imaginary.
  • Germany’s knife-crime epidemic has continued nonstop into 2019. During the first 45 days of 2019, police reported more than 500 knife crimes — an average of 11 a day.
Mourtala Madou, a 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Niger, has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing to death his 34-year-old German ex-girlfriend and decapitating their 21-month-old daughter in Hamburg, Germany. Pictured: Police question witnesses at the scene of the murders, in Jungfernstieg subway station in Hamburg, on April 12, 2018. (Image source: Daniel J./Heinrich Kordewiner video screenshot)

Mourtala Madou, a 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Niger, has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing to death his 34-year-old German ex-girlfriend and decapitating their 21-month-old daughter at a subway station in Hamburg.

The grisly crime has drawn renewed attention to Germany’s spiraling epidemic of stabbings and knife violence, which has raged since Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed into the country more than a million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The double murder in Hamburg occurred the morning of April 12, 2018, one day after a family judge denied Madou (also known as Mado Bido M. or Mourtala M.) joint custody of his daughter. Madou followed the mother, Sandra P., and their toddler, Mariam, into the Jungfernstieg station in downtown Hamburg. In front of many passers-by, he opened his backpack, pulled out a knife and stabbed his stroller-bound daughter in the abdomen. He then slashed her neck and severed her head. Madou subsequently plunged the knife into Sandra P.’s back and cut through her vital organs. She died less than an hour later at a nearby hospital.

During interrogation by police, Madou explained: “This is my child. This is my blood. The mother separates me from the child. Then I separate the child from her.”

On February 15, 2019, the Hamburg District Court (Landgericht Hamburg) sentenced Madou to life in prison for two counts of murder. In addition, the court established a “particular severity of guilt” (besondere Schwere der Schuld), a legal mechanism applied to sentences for especially brutal crimes. That verdict disqualifies Madou from automatically being eligible for parole after serving 15 years, as otherwise is the normal practice in Germany. A lawyer representing Sandra P.’s sister said that the sentence handed to Madou was “the maximum we could legally achieve.”

Police and prosecutors had initially tried to conceal from the public that Madou had decapitated the baby, but a commuter — Ghanaian citizen Daniel J., a gospel singer at an evangelical church in Hamburg — who happened to arrive at the subway station moments after the attack filmed the scene on his phone. “Oh my God,” Daniel J. can be heard saying in English. “It’s unbelievable. Oh Jesus, oh Jesus, oh Jesus. They cut off the head of the baby. Oh my God. Oh Jesus.”

Heinrich Kordewiner, a blogger from Hamburg who discovered the video on Daniel J.’s Facebook page, uploaded it to YouTube. Hamburg police subsequently arrived at Kordewiner’s apartment with a search warrant, and confiscated his computer, mobile phone and other electronics, allegedly to find “evidence” of the “crime” of uploading the video.

German prosecutors also pursued Gatestone author Stefan Frank for quoting verbatim from the search warrant, which included details of the murder, including that the child was beheaded. The fact of the decapitation was not only omitted from public reports, but also denied. District Attorney Lars Mahnke claimed that “speculation” about the beheading was false. Frank, however, knew about the beheading because it was mentioned in the search warrant. His “crime” was informing the public. The case against Frank was dropped in January 2019 after he agreed to pay a fine of 300 euros ($340).

Police and prosecutors have insisted that their silence about the child’s decapitation has been out of respect for the dignity of the dead. Others, however, have accused German authorities of censoring information about growing lawlessness — including spiraling knife violence — to “preserve civil peace.”

Stabbings and Knife Crimes

Official statistics on knife violence in Germany do not exist. The Conference of Interior Ministers (Innenministerkonferenz, IMK), in an ongoing exchange of views about law enforcement issues between the interior ministers of Germany’s 16 federal states, recently decided that federal crime statistics should include data about knife violence. Before that can happen, however, German authorities must first “develop guidelines” for statistics on knife crimes, and also “convert technical registration systems in the federal states.”

In February 2019, Oliver Malchow, chairman of the German Police Union (Gewerkschaft der Polizei, GdP), called on the government to speed-up the collection of data on knife crimes. “We have heard it will not take place until 2022,” he said, “but we think that is too late.”

The Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) said that “as soon as uniform reporting is ensured, the corresponding data can be incorporated into the nationwide statistics.” At present, however, “the BKA can make no statements as to whether attacks with knives in Germany are increasing.”

A review by Gatestone Institute of German police blotters found that 2018 was a record year for stabbings and knife crimes in Germany: Police reported more than 4,100 knife-related crimes in 2018, compared to around 3,800 reported during 2017 — and only 400 in 2008. Overall, during the past ten years, knife-related crimes in Germany have increased by more than 900%from one a day to more than ten a day. The data shows a notable increase in knife crimes since 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened German borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants.

German media do not report most knife-related violence. Crimes that are reported are often dismissed as “isolated incidents” that are unrelated to mass immigration. Moreover, many crime reports, including those in police blotters, omit references to the nationalities of the perpetrators and victims — apparently to avoid inflaming anti-immigration sentiments.

Knives, axes and machetes have become weapons of choice for criminals in Germany, which has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe. People armed with knives, axes and machetes have brought devastation to all of Germany’s 16 federal states. Knives have been used not only not only to carry out jihadist attacks, but also to commit homicides, robberies, home invasions, sexual assaults, honor killings and many other types of violent crime.

Knife-related crimes have occurred in amusement parks, bicycle trails, hotels, parking lots, parks, public squares, public transportation, restaurants, schools, supermarkets and train stations. Many Germans have the sense that danger lurks everywhere, but the lack of official statistics seemingly allows German authorities to pretend that the problem is imaginary.

Police reports show that both migrants and non-migrants are responsible for the increase in knife crimes in Germany. Merkel’s open-door migration policies appear to have set in motion a self-reinforcing cycle of violence in which more and more people are carrying knives in public — including for self-defense. Her policies appear to be leading to more and more stabbings, especially when alcohol is involved.

“The reasons for carrying a knife are mainly due to the fear of becoming a victim of a crime, and also the orientation towards masculinity norms,” according to the BKA, which added that young people who carry knives are twice as likely to commit acts of violence as young people who do not carry a knife.

Some of the recent stabbings appear to have had religious or political motives, sometimes both:

  • Fulda. A 23-year-old Somali asylum seeker demanded a cigarette from a passerby: “Give me the cigarette. The cigarette is mine. Allahu Akbar! [Allah is the greatest!] I kill Christians!” When the man refused, the Somali drew a knife and repeatedly stabbed him in the upper torso. The injured man fled but the Somali pursued him: “I’m a Muslim. I want to kill you. I kill Christians. Allahu Akbar!”
  • Flensburg. Ahmad Gulbhar, a failed Afghan asylum seeker, stabbed to death 17-year-old Mireille B. after she refused to convert to Islam. He claimed on his asylum application that he was an 18-year-old refugee from Syria. Medical exams showed that Gulbhar was at least 21 years old and possibly 29 years old.
  • Nordstetten. A 26-year-old Syrian asylum seeker, Mohammed Omran Albakr, was arrested in the stabbing death of his landlord, Michael Riecher, a real estate entrepreneur. Riecher had sponsored Albakr and some speculated that the murder had a financial motive. Others said that Albakr murdered Riecher after learning that he was Jewish; that the murder had a religious and anti-Semitic dimension.
  • Berlin. A 24-year-old Muslim stopped a 27-year-old passerby and asked him why he was wearing two tattoos depicting the Christian cross. The Muslim demanded that the man, an Iraqi Christian, give alms to a nearby street beggar. When the Christian refused, the Muslim punched him in the face and threatened him with a knife.
  • Berlin. A 23-year-old Syrian man stabbed several passersby at the Bayerischer Platz subway station. He first asked a 50-year-old man if he was a Turk. When he replied that he was German, the Syrian shouted, “You infidel!” and stabbed him. The other victims were also all native Germans. Police said the Syrian was “mentally unstable.”
  • Berlin. Six men were arrested for plotting knife attacks against spectators at the Berlin Half Marathon. The leading suspect reportedly knew Anis Amri, a Tunisian who killed 12 people and injured several dozen more when he drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016.
  • Dortmund. A group of four Muslims pulled a knife on two Iraqis outside a discotheque for drinking alcohol, something that should not be done by “believing Muslims.”
  • Witzenhausen. A 38-year-old Libyan man shouting “Allahu Akbar!” [“Allah is the greatest!”] at a Christmas market threatened passersby with a hatchet.
  • Hamburg. A 26-year-old Palestinian named Ahmad A. said that his decision to carry out a deadly knife attack at a supermarket in Barmbek was “a contribution to the global jihad.”

Many knife attacks appear to be random, indiscriminate assaults on innocent bystanders and passersby:

  • Hamburg. A 22-year-old man was stabbed in the cashier area of an Ikea furniture store. Police said his 26-year-old attacker had mental health problems and was “obviously confused.”
  • Burgwedel. A 17-year-old Syrian migrant, Abdalla M., stabbed and seriously injured a 24-year-old German woman at a supermarket in Lower Saxony. The woman was attacked after she intervened in a dispute between her boyfriend and two migrants, aged 13 and 14. The 17-year-old, who arrived in Germany in 2013, is the brother of one of the younger teenagers.
  • Magdeburg. An African man drew a knife on a 28-year-old German man after he accidentally bumped into his female companion in a busy crosswalk in front of a shopping center.
  • Nuremberg. A 38-year-old man randomly stabbed three women within two hours and 100 meters on a public street. The three victims, aged 26, 34 and 56, suffered life-threatening injuries. Also in Nuremberg, 25-year-old Iraqi man randomly stabbed a 21-year-old female passerby. Police said the woman “happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
  • Viersen. A 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant in a public park during the middle of the day.
  • Berlin. A 24-year-old “North African born in Palestine” raped at knifepoint a 46-year-old woman in her garden.
  • Lingen. A 44-year-old woman riding her bicycle on a bike path was stabbed and seriously injured by two teenagers.
  • Hattersheim. Two Turks drew a knife on a 54-year-old female passerby at the train station.
  • Potsdam. A 24-year-old migrant from Cameroon attacked a passerby with a razor blade. When police arrived, he bit an officer on the arm and finger.
  • Bremen. An 18-year-old man was stabbed from behind by an unknown assailant.
  • Penzberg. A 33-year-old Nigerian asylum seeker waving a knife ran through the city center and threatened passersby.
  • Wiesbaden. Several young men wielding knives randomly threatened passersby in the city center.
  • Babenhausen. A 30-year-old man was stabbed by an unknown attacker in a supermarket parking lot.
  • Hanover. A 20-year-old man was stabbed and seriously injured at a McDonald’s restaurant.

Transport hubs and public transportation are increasingly unsafe:

  • Lübeck. Twelve people were seriously injured when a 34-year-old German-Iranian, Ali D., carried out a knife attack on a bus carrying 48 passengers. He also tried to set the bus on fire with lighter fluid. The suspect, who is said to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, was charged with 48 counts of attempted murder.
  • Munich. A 28-year-old man with a switchblade threatened passengers on a commuter train. The man was questioned and released. A short while later, the same man threated security personnel on another train. Police said the man had recently been released from prison and was on probation.
  • Crimmitschau. A 21-year-old Syrian migrant drew a knife on a German couple at the train station. When the German man defended himself with pepper spray, a 19-year-old Syrian migrant jumped onto the track bed, picked up stones and began throwing them at the couple. Police said the older Syrian was carrying two knives and illegal narcotics. The younger Syrian did not have a residency permit. After questioning, both Syrians were released.
  • Düsseldorf. A 55-year-old biologist randomly stabbed two women on a commuter train. Police said the suspect, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was upset that his research on gene manipulation had yielded inconclusive results.
  • Hanover. A man was stabbed and seriously injured during a mass brawl between homeless people at the central railway station.
  • Ravensburg. A 21-year-old Afghan asylum seeker randomly stabbed three passersby at a bus stop on the Marienplatz. Police said the man was suffering from “post-traumatic disorders due to experiences in Afghanistan.”
  • Hamburg. A 21-year-old man stabbed a 29-year-old man at the central train station. At the same location, a 59-year-old drunk man was arrested after waving a knife at passersby. When police arrived, the man tried to slash them. Separately, a 32-year-old Iranian migrant stabbed a 21-year-old man at the Othmarschen commuter train station.
  • Rees. A 29-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker wielding an axe demanded money from passersby at the train station.
  • Hagen. Several people were stabbed during a mass brawl near the central train station.

Knife attacks often involve teenagers and young children as well as women:

  • Duisburg. Three German-Turks (aged between 15 and 17) and a 15-year-old Swedish-Iraqi repeatedly stabbed a 17-year-old German girl named Marcella S. who was five months pregnant with the child of a 16-year-old German-Turk named Rifai B. She and the baby survived the attack.Marcella S. said: “He lured me into a trap. He wanted to kill me and my child. He wrote to me that no one should know that he is the father. He threatened to kill me and the baby. We walked a few meters and he said that his father would kill him if he learned about the child. Suddenly three masked men with knives jumped out of the bushes.”
  • Nimburg. A seven-year-old boy stabbed his elementary teacher in the abdomen. She was seriously injured and underwent surgery. The boy was said to have a history of acts of violence against other classmates. “Due to the daily incidents and his constant unpredictability, we can no longer guarantee the safety of our students,” teachers warned.
  • Moers. A 33-year-old Kuwait-born Iraqi man stabbed a 13-year-old-Iraqi boy who on his way to school. It later emerged that the attacker had sexually abused the boy and the attack was aimed at preventing the boy from reporting the crimes to his mother or to authorities.
  • Dortmund. A 15-year-old Kazakh stabbed a 15-year-old classmate for “looking at his mother in a provocative way.”
  • Berlin. A three-year-old girl was stabbed to death by her mother in what police said was a family dispute.
  • Essen. A 15-year-old was stabbed on a commuter train during a physical altercation.
  • Kiel. a 17-year-old Iraqi was stabbed by a 16-year-old during a mass brawl at the central train station.
  • Euskirchen. A 15-year-old boy armed with a knife robbed a woman of her handbag.
  • Hanover. Two boys aged 12 and 13 were robbed at knifepoint by two teenagers of Eastern European appearance.
  • Viersen. A 17-year-old Bulgarian, Matyu K., stabbed to death his 15-year-old Romanian girlfriend, Iuliana R., at a park.

Knives appear to be the weapon of choice in so-called honor killings and domestic disputes:

  • Gremersdorf. A 22-year-old Iraqi, Zyad S., stabbed to death his 28-year-old Iranian ex-girlfriend, Fatemeh B. She had ended their relationship two weeks before she was murdered.
  • Bad Kreuznach. A 25-year-old Afghan asylum seeker stabbed a 25-year-old pregnant Polish woman at a hospital in Bad Kreuznach. The unborn child died in the attack.
  • Nürtingen. A 30-year-old Portuguese man stabbed a 31-year-old Greek man during a dispute over a woman.
  • Hanover-Hainholz. A 29-year-old German-Turk and a 29-year-old Albanian stabbed each other during a “relationship dispute” over a 17-year-old girl. The Albanian died of his wounds.
  • Pforzheim. A 32-year-old Turkish man stabbed his 37-year-old brother.
  • Düren. A 41-year-old Pole was stabbed during a dispute with two other Poles.
  • Heek. A 32-year-old Russian man confessed to stabbing to death his 23-year-old wife. The man told police that he killed her during an argument and then dumped her body in a nearby pond.
  • Rendsburg. A 29-year-old man stabbed and seriously injured his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.
  • Düsseldorf. A 41-year-old German-Iranian man stabbed to death a 36-year-old woman after she refused his romantic advances.
  • Neubrandenburg. A 27-year-old Turkish man stabbed his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend at a cinema. The accused said that he had “seen the two and then became angry.”
  • Rendsburg. A 27-year-old Syrian man name tried to decapitate his sleeping wife. She survived the attack after seeking help from a neighbor. The couple’s two children, who were in an adjacent room at the time of the attack, were sent to a youth welfare office.
  • Hamburg. A 34-year-old rejected Pakistani asylum seeker named Sohail A. admitted to stabbing to death his two-year-old daughter. Prosecutors said the man acted out of “anger and revenge” because the girl’s mother refused to allow the child to be taken to Pakistan.
  • Mühlacker. A 41-year-old Syrian, Abu Marwan, stabbed to death his 37-year-old wife. The couple’s three children, a girl and two boys, witnessed the murder. It later emerged that immediately after the killing, the blood-stained man posted a video on Facebook warning women not to irritate their husbands. “This is how you’ll end,” he wrote.
  • Regensburg. A 32-year-old man stabbed to death his 33-year-old girlfriend. It turned out later that in 2013, the same man had stabbedanother girlfriend and threatened her father with a chainsaw.
  • Frankenthal. A 25-year-old Turk stabbed to death a 51-year-old Turk, then fled to Switzerland.
  • Reutlingen. A 50-year-old Croatian man stabbed his estranged wife and their underaged daughter.
  • Hanau. A 49-year-old Turkish man stabbed his estranged wife seven times. Prosecutors said that the man, who was charged with attempted murder, said that he could not accept that his wife wanted to leave him and therefore wanted to kill her.


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Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

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