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Teen indicted on terror charge in Germany

August 29, 2016

German prosecutors have indicted a teenage girl in connection with the stabbing of a police officer in Hannover. Authorities said the attack was linked to the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) group.

Police officers in Hannover
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J.Stratenschulte

The 16-year-old German-Moroccan citizen was indicted on Monday by a German court on charges of attempted murder and supporting a terrorist organization.

Prosecutors said the girl, known as Safia S. in the media, was inspired by IS to carry out a "martyr operation" with a knife on a police officer at a train station in Hannover on February 26. Under German press-protocol the full name of the accused can not be given until a judgment is made by the courts.

Police arrested Safia S. after the attack, in which the officer was seriously wounded. In their statement, prosecutors said they were also charging a 19-year-old German citizen of Syrian descent named Mohamad Hasan K. with failing to prevent the attack.

Concerns over radicalization

Authorities announced they were investigating the then 15-year-old Safia S. back in April, amid a wider federal probe into the knife attack. At the time, prosecutors said the girl had "embraced the radical jihadi ideology of the foreign terrorist group "Islamic State" of Iraq and Syria."

Investigators found that Safia S. had traveled to Istanbul in January to meet with men affiliated with IS. Her intention was to cross into Syria, they said, although she was prevented from doing so after her mother intervened and returned her to Germany.

Despite this, the girl was convinced by her meeting in Istanbul to carry out an attack in Germany, prosecutors said. The police officer she stabbed survived and is recovering from his wounds.

blc/jm (AP, dpa)