After the deadly knife attack on a regional train from Kiel to Hamburg, the authorities in both cities blame each other for dealing with the alleged perpetrator. The Kiel immigration authorities were informed early on that the 33-year-old Palestinian Ibrahim A. had been imprisoned in Hamburg, said Justice Senator Anna Gallina (Greens) and a representative of the interior authority on Thursday in the Hamburg Parliament’s Judiciary Committee.
In addition, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to contact the Kiel authorities. The day before, Schleswig-Holstein’s integration minister, Aminata Touré (Greens), complained that information from Hamburg on the alleged perpetrator had not reached Schleswig-Holstein.
Ibrahim A. is said to have stabbed other passengers with a knife on a regional train from Kiel to Hamburg on Wednesday last week. The train came to a standstill in the town of Brokstedt and A. was finally arrested on the platform. Two young people died in the act, five others were injured, some seriously. Almost a week earlier, A. had been released from custody in Hamburg.
A. appeared in Hamburg for the first time in November 2021 after he had been banned from accommodation in Kiel. In Hamburg, the drug addict and multiple criminal record man was arrested shortly after his arrival for a knife attack.
According to the Hamburg interior authorities, just one day after A. began custody in Hamburg in January 2022, a police officer informed the Kiel immigration authorities by email and asked for consultation. However, despite multiple attempts to contact them, there was no response. Only when you contacted the immigration office in Kiel at the beginning of March did you get an answer, the head of the department for public security in the Hamburg interior authority told the judiciary committee. The people of Kiel were informed that A. was in custody, which crimes he was accused of in Hamburg and which had already been put on record, the official said.
It’s not about “putting the buck somewhere,” says the justice senator
Justice Senator Gallina added that Billwerder Prison had sent documents on Ibrahim A. to the Kiel Immigration Office on May 4th and 5th. Most recently, in November 2022, the JVA sought contact with the immigration authorities in Kiel to clarify the prisoner’s status under immigration law. The senator did not want to comment directly on the accusation from Kiel that Hamburg had not been sufficiently informed. It’s not about “putting a buck somewhere” on her, she’s just reflecting the state of the files.
After Brokstedt’s crime became known, it was her concern to check whether information had gone to the relevant authorities, and that was the case. Gallina also rejected the accusation that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) had not been informed about A.’s detention. The Bamf had been involved in communication since March 2022.
During his pre-trial detention, Ibrahim A. met with a psychiatrist 16 times. The reason for this was psychological abnormalities during detention, said Hamburg’s State Councilor Holger Schatz at the committee meeting. According to A., he heard “voices and noises”. In addition, there were two incidents in the JVA. On the one hand, a violent argument with a fellow prisoner had been reported to the authorities. On the other hand, A. threw a cup at a prison officer when he was denied a second portion of tea.
In the assessments of A. – most recently shortly before his release – the psychiatrist found no evidence that the man could pose a danger to himself or others. However, Gallina emphasized that it was only about an assessment of the prisoner at a specific point in time, and not about a prognosis report.