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ISIS Flag Found in Room of German Train Attacker | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cameramen film at the scene where a man was shot dead by the police after attacking passengers on a train with an axe near the city of Wuerzburg, Germany July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

A hand-drawn ISIS flag was found in the room of the Afghan refugee who attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany, a senior state official said on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old armed with an ax and a knife attacked passengers aboard a regional train in southern Germany on Monday night, injuring four people before he was shot and killed by police as he fled, authorities said.

Wuerzburg police said on their Facebook page that three of the victims suffered serious injuries and one was slightly injured. Another 14 people were being treated for shock.

The incident came days after a Tunisian delivery man ploughed a 19-tonne truck into crowds of revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 84.

Bavaria’s top security official, state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, said initial information was that the suspect came to Germany as an unaccompanied minor and had lived in the Wuerzburg area for some time, initially at a refugee facility in the town of Ochsenfurt and more recently with a foster family.

He said authorities were still investigating the motive of the attack and were looking into reports that the suspect had yelled out “an exclamation” during the rampage. He was responding to reports that some witnesses had heard the suspect shout “Allahu Akbar” (“God Is Great”) during the attack.

The train was on its way from the Bavarian town of Treuchtlingen to Wuerzburg, which is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Nuremberg.

The case is likely to deepen worries about so-called “lone wolf” attacks in Europe and could put political pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany over the past year.

Herrmann said it was still too early to say whether the Afghan youth was a member of ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the French attack, or any other militant group.

“All of that has to be put together in a large mosaic as to what his motivations were, and to what extent he can be counted as an Islamist, or to what extent he radicalized himself in recent times,” Herrmann said. “We are pursuing every piece of evidence.”

Unlike neighbors France and Belgium, Germany has not been the victim of a major attack by Islamic militants in recent years, although security officials say they have thwarted a large number of plots.

Germany welcomed roughly 1 million migrants in 2015, including thousands of unaccompanied minors. Many were fleeing war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.