An Islamic extremist, once imprisoned for plotting to assassinate the former prime minister of Iraq, was shot and killed by police in Berlin on Thursday.
Authorities killed Rafik Mohamad Yousef, a 41-year-old Iraqi citizen, after officers responded to calls of a man wielding a knife. A female police officer was stabbed during the incident.
Yousef, who belonged to an al-Qaida-linked terror group, was one of three men imprisoned for an assassination attempt on Iyad Allawi in the German capital in 2004.
According to The Telegraph, police said they were called to Spandau on Thursday morning to confront a “madman with a knife.”
As a policewoman exited the car, Yousef stabbed her in the neck. Her partner responded by shooting her assailant four times. A second officer also reportedly drew his gun and fired. The injured officer was taken to hospital; her injuries are not life threatening.
The assailant died in the ambulance leaving the scene. Yousef was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to serve eight years by a German court but was released in 2013 and made to wear an electronic tag. Bild reports the tag was removed only hours before the stabbing.
“The person killed is an Iraqi citizen known to us who was convicted in 2008 of membership in a foreign terrorist organisation and sentenced to eight years imprisonment," Berlin chief prosecutor Dirk Feuerberg said.
Speaking to AP, Frank Henkel, the interior minister for the state of Berlin, said the motivations for the attack were unknown. "There are indications that this wasn't a planned act," he said, adding that a "religious motif can't be excluded."