On Monday, just outside of Würzburg in Bavaria, a man brutally attacked passengers on a train with an axe. Dozens were injured in the German axe attack, some of them critically. According to The Guardian, the attacker was shot by officials, while fleeing the train, and has been confirmed dead. Three people are seriously injured, one just mildly injured, and others are in shock. The train line between Wurzburg-Heidingsfeld and Ochsenfurt is closed while authorities investigate.
The man also had a knife on him and stabbed people as well during the attack. Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, said that the attacker was a 17-year-old Afghani refugee but authorities are still confirming his identity.
They haven't called it terrorism yet, but that he is being labeled a refugee could add to the rising tensions in Europe in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris, Belgium, and most recently, Turkey. Everyone seems to be on edge. According to a recent study, Islamaphobia has been rising in Germany in recent years. More than 40 percent of residents said in surveys that they believe Muslims should be forbidden from coming into Germany and 80 percent responded that they believe the government should not be "too generous" in providing financial support for the recent influx of refugees.
Already on social media the conversation has circled about the man's refugee status and how Germany should control its borders. The disturbing attack will most definitely affect the conversation going on right now in the country about immigration and how to handle refugees.
The axe attacker came to Germany as a refugee from Afghanistan....sure to further inflame the already heated migrant debate there— Tom Steinfort (@tomsteinfort) July 18, 2016
The refugee crisis has polarized the country. In one small town, for example, the population is around 200,000 thousand and just over 2,000 of that are refugees. Local officials report that there are clashes among different groups. Even though officials haven't confirmed Monday's attack on terrorism, it's going to make dealing with the migrant crisis all the more difficult than it already is.
Germany is fairly safe. Crime rates are pretty low, though there are reports of crime rising, linked again to the migrant crisis. According to a recent study, crime rates have increased by 80 percent since 2014 Although guns are legal, the discussion concerning firearms is more about how to regulate them, rather then whether they should be available for purchase or not. There haven't been any recent attacks on trains or with an axe in the area, though, either. It will definitely be hard for Germans to process Monday's attack.