After the murder of a gas station cashier in Idar-Oberstein, the waves beat high.
Sections of the maverick scene on the Internet blame politics for the 20-year-old's death - politicians are shocked and warn of the ongoing radicalization of the scene.
Munich / Idar-Oberstein -
Munich / Idar-Oberstein -
horror on social media. Condolences, compassion. Fury. "A lateral thinker has taken the last step of his radicalization and executed a young person," writes a user on Twitter. And the mood is also heating up in private, lateral thinker groups. Not against the man who shot a 20-year-old petrol station employee in the head at the weekend just because he pointed out that a mask is required - but against politics. “Again something that goes to the government's account,” writes Erik W. on Facebook. “The government didn't shoot,” replied another user. Answer: "Indirectly yes."
Idar-Oberstein, 31,000 inhabitants.
Suddenly the small town in Rhineland-Palatinate is in the focus of politics.
Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) speaks of a deep-seated shock.
The fact must be cleared up.
You watch exactly how corona deniers instrumentalize the deed on the Internet.
The chancellor candidates are also appalled.
"I am shocked by the terrible murder," says Annalena Baerbock.
"The radicalization of the maverick milieu worries me very much." The perpetrator must be "severely punished," demands Olaf Scholz.
And Armin Laschet says: "This hatred in our society must come to an end."
The perpetrator wanted to "set an example"
Saturday evening, around 7.45 p.m .: A 49-year-old man wants to buy two six-packs of beer at the Aral gas station in Idar-Oberstein.
At the cash register: A 20-year-old student who wants to earn money for his driver's license with his job.
He advises the 49-year-old about the mask requirement.
The man leaves the gas station without the beer.
He comes back at 9:25 p.m., this time wearing a mask.
And with a revolver.
At the checkout he takes off his mask and has a brief discussion with the student.
Suddenly he pulls the revolver out of his pocket and shoots the student in the head from the front.
The surveillance camera records the return of the perpetrator.
He brings beer to the cash register again, pulls off his mask, discusses - and pulls the trigger a little later.
The perpetrator is now in custody. Murder suspicion. The morning after the crime, he turned himself in to the police. The corona pandemic had a heavy burden on him, he said later. He rejects the corona measures. He felt pushed into a corner and "saw no other way out" than to set an example. The victim seemed to him "responsible for the overall situation, since it had enforced the rules," said the public prosecutor.
When searching his apartment in Idar-Oberstein, the police found the murder weapon, other firearms and ammunition.
A self-employed person from the IT industry, in possession of illegal weapons, “well versed” in the theories of corona deniers, but never noticed by the police - not even as a participant in a corona demo.
This is how the perpetrator is described in investigative circles.
Not much more is known about the background.
"Now we have to get a clear picture for ourselves", says Chief Public Prosecutor Kai Fuhrmann.
That could take a while.
Conspiracy theories can be the engine of radicalization - which then leads to violence.
Professor Michael Butter
The Thuringian constitution protection president Stephan Kramer says: The "cold-blooded murder" of the student was "no surprise in view of the constant escalation of the last week." A few days earlier there had been an arson attack on a vaccination center in Saxony.
The escalation has been observed for months, emphasizes Kramer.
In June, Thomas Haldenwang, President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, pointed out the "increasing radicalization of some actors" in the corona protests.
Expert: Few become violent
Does the case in Idar-Oberstein really represent an increasingly dangerous movement of lateral thinkers? Michael Butter advocates a differentiated analysis. At the end of April, the expert on conspiracy theories from the University of Tübingen said in an interview that it “cannot be ruled out” that at some point a lateral thinker will take up arms. Also yesterday he emphasized to our newspaper: Conspiracy theories could be “the engine for radicalization” and also lead to violence. But you have to differentiate within the lateral thinker movement. About when the threshold from skepticism towards measures to conspiracy theory is crossed. "And then of course it is the case that not all people who believe in conspiracy theories, radicalize themselves and become violent." This group is "vanishingly small".The professor found in studies that the group of lateral thinkers had increasingly shrunk in the past year. "But yes, those who have stuck with it so far have got stuck in their beliefs."
Andreas Zick rates the danger posed by lateral thinkers higher.
The conflict and violence researcher even draws a comparison with the Islamist terrorist attacks of recent years: “From 2015 it was clear that a strong radicalization was taking place.
A lot has been invested in the early detection of dangers, in monitoring networks, ”he said in an interview with our newspaper.
This should also have been done with lateral thinkers.
"Since the corona demos and the massive campaigns in which resistance is talked about, we have seen a radicalization."
What was really there that day, what he was still angry about, is completely unclear.
Criminal psychologist Rudolf Egg on the motive of the perpetrator
The criminal psychologist Rudolf Egg warns against jumping to conclusions. One has to distinguish “between the immediate cause and the actual reason,” says the former director of the federal criminological center. "What was really there that day, what he was still angry about", that is still completely unclear. The criminal psychologist Lydia Benecke also warns that the perpetrator's psychological background should be clarified first. “There can be very different backgrounds for such an act.” A mental disorder, alcohol or drugs could play a role.
There are no exact figures on radical Corona lateral thinkers, because the scene moves a lot on the Internet and is heterogeneous.
It includes, for example, right-wing extremists, Reich citizens and so-called self-administrators who were anti-subversive even before the pandemic and were observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution - but also people who have radicalized themselves solely through the corona measures or the subject of vaccinations.
The protection of the constitution in Bavaria is alarmed
For the latter, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has set up the “collective observation object”, a kind of special pot for lateral thinkers with corona with anti-democratic or security-endangering tendencies. During corona protests it was found that "some people have developed an increasingly violent willingness," says René Rieger, spokesman for the Bavarian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution. One of those observed is Karl Hilz from Munich, the retired police chief inspector. Hilz repeatedly spoke of a totalitarian state at events and equated the Infection Protection Act with the National Socialists' Enabling Act. Rieger does not want to comment on the case in Idar-Oberstein, as the background and motive of the perpetrator have not yet been conclusively clarified. (with dpa / afp)