For seven hours the authorities of the leading European power were paralyzed over how to handle the massacre of nine Germans at he Olympia shopping mall of Munich by an 18-year old Iranian German Friday night, July 22 without uttering the words “Islamic” or “jihadist” – or even “terror.” The gunman, who killed himself far from the crime scene, gained German citizenship after arriving from Iran two years ago. He too has not been named. At stake was Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-arms policy for Middle East refugees. And so a city of 1,5 million was sent into panic by muddled, stammering statements, which for hours refrained from defining the mall attack, locked the entries against the media and refused to specify the number of casualties.. French President Francois Hollande bluntly said it for them. It was a terrorist attack, he said Saturday morning, July 23.
Young people and "adolescents" are among the 9 dead, and children are among the 16 injured. Hundreds of police Saturday searched an apartment believed to have been the shooter’s home.
This was how the episode unfolded, according to debkafile’s initial report Friday night:
With still no official figure on casualties in the shooting spree Friday night, July 22, in the Olympia mall, Munich’s largest shopping center. However medical staff are being rushed to the city from across the state of Bavaria, indicating a casualty emergency of major proportions and multiple deaths.
Munich police now believe that three gunmen were involved and are on the run, but refrain from defining them as jihadist terrorists.
Large numbers of people fled the shopping center at the heart of Germany’s third city, while shopkeepers hid in barricaded stores and eateries.
Following the Olympia mall shooting, sirens were activated in a number of Munich districts warning people that their city was under terror attack which has all the hallmarks of a jihadist atrocity against a soft target.
The public was urged to stay off the streets and away from crowd centers. All Munich transport systems were closed down amid reports of a second shooting at the nearby Marienplatz Metro station at the heart of the capital of Bavaria. The central railway station was evacuated and closed down.
debkafile’s counterterrorism sources report that the gunmen were armed with pistols as well as automatic rifleswhixh were planned to maximize casualties.
It's the second attack in Germany in less than a week. On Monday, a 17-year-old Afghan wounded five people in an ax-and-knife attack on a regional train in Bavaria. The attacker claimed by ISIS as its “fighter” was shot and killed by police.
The mall is next door to the Munich Olympic stadium, where the Palestinian terrorist group Black September took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them during the 1972 Olympic Games.