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Alleged 'IS' sympathizer attacks Mülheim police officers

October 31, 2016

A woman has attacked two police officers with a knife as they entered her apartment in the German city of Mülheim. Authorities found material linked to the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) within.

Police in Germany
Image: picture alliance / dpa

The 53-year-old woman attacked the two police officers after they entered her apartment in the western city of Mülheim on Sunday morning.

The police officers were checking in on her after she had allegedly thrown furniture, including a lamp, stools and books, out the window. When she refused to open the door, the officers broke it down.

Once they were inside the apartment, the veiled woman attacked them with a box-cutter while apparently shouting "Allahu akbar," or "God is great."

She was overpowered as police officers used pepper spray on her and threatened to use their sidearms. She was lightly wounded during the proceedings and was later taken to a mental facility. It was not clear from initial reports if either of the officers was injured.

Attack in Hamburg
A 16-year-old was recently murdered in Hamburg in a suspected IS-linked attack Image: picture-alliance/dpa/D. Reinhardt

Germany on edge

Following a search, police said they found flags suggesting ties to the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) group. 

A police spokesperson said the woman was a Muslim convert and had been born in the state of Thuringia. She was already familiar to police after a series of earlier incidents linked with Islamic extremism, the spokesperson said without providing further details.

Over the past few months, a handful of crimes or attempted crimes linked to or claimed by IS have taken place in Germany. Recently, IS claimed responsibility for a knife attack in Hamburg that killed a 16-year-old boy.

Earlier in October, a Syrian refugee named Jaber Albakr killed himself after being arrested for allegedly plotting a bomb attack in Berlin. In July, a young Afghan asylum seeker injured several people on a train with an ax and was later found to have a handmade IS flag in his apartment. That same month, a Syrian refugee blew himself up in Ansbach.

blc/msh  (dpa)