By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - Last night’s terrorist shooting in Germany, killing nine people, reportedly including several Turks, is a sign of the “poison” of Islamophobia spreading in the heart of Europe, said Britain’s largest Muslim umbrella group on Thursday.
“This attack, which has come just days after 12 people were arrested in Germany for plotting large-scale attacks on mosques, shows the deep-seated Islamophobia poisoning large swathes of the far-right,” Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with the victims of the terror attacks last night in Hanau, Germany targeting migrants in a shisha bar,” he added.
Khan urged governments in Europe to take the threat against Muslims seriously.
The “attacker had an entire manifesto dedicated to white supremacism and anti-migrant sentiment, and is reported to have a video and a letter where he expressed his political motivations,” said Khan.
“As we wait for further details, we stand firm with communities across Europe against division, and hope that governments across Europe take the threat against Muslim and migrant communities with the seriousness it deserves,” he said.
Five Turkish nationals were among the victims of the far-right terror attack, Turkish Ambassador to Germany Ali Kemal Aydin said Thursday.
The perpetrator was identified by security forces as Tobias R., 43, German daily Bild reported.
He and one other person were found dead in an apartment in Hanau following a German special operations raid.
Initial police findings showed that the perpetrator was acting with “xenophobic motives,” Hesse's Interior Minister Peter Beuth told reporters on Thursday.
"The Federal Public Prosecutor has taken over the investigation. It is treating this as a suspected incident of a terrorist attack," he said.
Hanau is located around 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Frankfurt and has a population of nearly 100,000.