Published: Thu, October 10, 2019

Shooter who attacked German synagogue live streamed it on Twitch

Shooter who attacked German synagogue live streamed it on Twitch

"Unfortunately the time has come when all Jewish places of worship and Jewish communal sites [in Germany] need to have enhanced round-the-clock security provided by state security services", Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, said.

Jewish leaders have raised alarm on the climate of hate in Europe after an antisemitic attack in Germany killed two people on Wednesday (9 October).

The head of the city's Jewish community, Max Privorozki, was among those inside who watched the man trying to break in on monitors linked to a surveillance camera. Police did not disclose his identity, but, according to the media, he is a 30-year-old German citizen who was previously unknown to either the police or the German domestic security service BfV, which is responsible for fighting terrorism and extremism.

Harris added that the Yom Kippur attack in Halle, coming on the heels of the one-year anniversary of an anti-Semitic shooting that killed 11 worshippers at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, "should all be triggering alarm bells".

The violence occurred on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the calendar in Judaism when Jews fast, seeking atonement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her "deep condolences to the family of the victims", government spokesperson Stephen Siebert tweeted.

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, criticized the police for not protecting the Synagogue during Yom Kippur.

People inside barricaded the doors with furniture for safe measure, Prizovorozki said, also calling on greater security for synagogues.

"This is bad news from Halle and I hope very much that the police catch the perpetrator, or perpetrators, as quickly as possible", federal government spokesman Steffen Seibert said, interrupting a regular government news conference.

"We've all acknowledged that's work that is still ongoing but I think this demonstrates why it is so necessary and why that work must continue".

German police have faced criticism from the nation's most prominent Jewish community group, which accused the force of "negligence" in its handling of the attack. A video posted by a reporter for Israeli public broadcaster Kan showed people on a bus dancing, embracing and singing.

The former communist states in east Germany have also gained notoriety for their far-right extremists.

"Any act of violence is taken extremely seriously". It also said that the number of far-right extremists rose by 100 to 24,100 people past year, with more than half of them considered potentially violent.

Late Wednesday, Merkel joined a solidarity vigil at a historic Berlin synagogue, and firmly condemned the anti-Semitic rampage. The suspect is a far-right extremist with a string of convictions for violent anti-migrant crimes.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer last month warned of the rising danger of the militant far right, calling it "as big a threat as radical Islamism".

National rail operator Deutsche Bahn said the main train station in Halle had been closed.

The video streamed on Twitch, which apparently was filmed with a head-mounted camera, showed the perpetrator driving up to the synagogue in a auto packed with ammunition and what appeared to be home-made explosives.

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