Teenager who terrorized German train appears in Islamic State video

16-07-19 Muhammad Riyad

Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the Islamic State, released a short video featuring a teenager identified as “Muhammad Riyad.” According to Amaq, Riyad was responsible for yesterday’s attack on a train in the German city of Würzburg.

Riyad brandishes a knife throughout the two minute video. He calls on all Muslims to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, saying that the Caliphate has now been resurrected in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. The teenager adds that the Muslims can join one of the Islamic State’s so-called provinces around the world, including in Libya.

At least several people were wounded when the assailant attacked them with both an axe and a knife, leaving a bloody scene on the floor and seats of the train. German media reported that the terrorist shouted “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” as he struck, according to BBC News.

Press reports have identified the attacker as a 17 year-old Afghan refugee, but offered few other details.

Earlier this morning, Amaq also released a written statement saying the assault was the work of an Islamic State “soldier.” Citing an “inside source,” Amaq reported: “Individual who carried out the axe attack in Germany was a soldier of the Islamic State who executed the operation in response to calls to target nations in the coalition fighting the Islamic State.”

Nearly identical language was used in Amaq’s claim of responsibility for the July 14 massacre in Nice, France. In addition, the Islamic State’s media arm often refers to the jihadists who strike in the group’s name as “soldiers.” [See LWJ report, Islamic State claims its ‘soldier’ carried out Bastille Day attack in Nice, France.]

The video released by Amaq was obviously recorded before the train’s passengers were slashed. Riyad speaks directly into his own digital camera. The fact that Amaq was able to release the video within one day of the incident suggests that Riyad was in touch with the Islamic State’s media operatives, or knew someone in the Islamic State’s network who could send it to Amaq.

Some accounts were quick to argue that the axe and knife assault was the work of a so-called “lone wolf.” But that hasn’t been established. The crude operation did not require any real expertise or sophisticated planning, but the Islamic State’s video shows that Riyad had at least one tie to the group, even if it was only a digital one.

In mid-June, Amaq promoted a similar video from another Islamic State loyalist, Larossi Abballa. The production was recorded at the scene of a brutal double murder in Magnanville, France, which is less than 40 miles north of Paris. Abballa stabbed a police officer and his partner to death, recounting the horror show for the Islamic State’s audience and the rest of the world. The couple’s son was saved when French forces stormed the home.

Abballa was arrested in 2011 on terror-related charges after he traveled to Pakistan to meet with one or more al Qaeda operatives. He was convicted by a court and sentenced to a few years in prison. He was ultimately freed and pledged allegiance to Baghdadi.

Like Riyad, Abballa was killed at the scene of his terrorist assault.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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8 Comments

  • Jay says:

    Boy, I’ve got to tell you: Those Germans have sure gotten violent recently.
    Clearly something’s changed.

  • ulises says:

    the islamic state attack german citizens in one train. in france in beach coast. all their victims were civilians. this genocide.

  • robert says:

    He died a dog’s death, shot down like a rabid animal. Which he was.

  • Frank Dunn says:

    The “lone wolf” nonsense is simply our “news” media following Obama’s instructions to hide for as long as possible any link to Islam and its campaign of violence against the West. The Fort Hood slaughter, the San Bernadino murders, Orlando, the Boston bombers and the Nice massacre, just to cite a few, were all referred to initially as lone wolves. Worse, Obama and media sycophants keep stating that the attackers’ motives were/are unknown. Days after the “We haven’t a clue as to why” claim, the terrorists links to Islamic terror groups are slowly revealed.

    The fact that journalists parrot the Obama line about Islam, from the “religion of peace” lie to lone wolves is quite shocking since we allegedly have a free press rather than Democratic Party operatives disguised as news people.

    • James Gorton says:

      Has nothing to do with Islam regardless of this Afghan child’s proclamations. Has everything to do with power and money and control of impresionable men and women who are usually petit criminals looking for redemption, adventure, purpose, whatever. Our first mistake was declaring war on criminals and giving them the Honor of being a Warrior rather than what they are! On the other hand, we could put huge pressure on a racist, xenophobic country like Saudi Arabia and their Fundamentalist Wahabi form of Islam which ISIS espouses and perverts in order to cajol, and convince people into believing the unbelievable. Our actions and constant denunciation of Islam, rather than the true criminals certainly exacerbates the problem. We have to partner with Muslims around the world to defeat these criminals. Trump like bombast just makes it worse. Especially since it has no basis in reality. Much like Baghdadi’s message!

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    The teenager in the video was speaking in Pashto and was speaking a Pashto dialect from Pakistan rather than Afghanistan. Angela Merkel’s policy in inviting the world refugees to Germany without any proper vetting has caused a big security threat to the country. The teenage boy is one example of not properly vetting people.

  • Alex says:

    Does this guy even look like a teenager to you? Fully developed bird, etc. seems they accept the “refugees” not asking too many questions…

  • James says:

    It is an insult to the K9 breed to dub this punk a “lone wolf.” If they are going to dub him anything of the sort, why don’t they just dub him a “lone NUT” case? Why glamorize such an individual?

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