VIENNA — Police have arrested an Iraqi-born man and are investigating a possible Islamic extremist motive after five passengers received knife wounds on a regional train in western Germany, authorities said Friday.
The train was traveling near the western city of Aachen Friday morning when a man began attacking fellow passengers “randomly and arbitrarily,” state interior minister Herbert Reul said, according to the news agency dpa.
There were approximately 270 passengers on the train, Reul said. A police officer who happened to be among the passengers overpowered the 31-year-old suspect with the help of two other passengers, state police confirmed.
Reul described the incident as “a gruesome crime that was stopped in an enormous act of courage.”
In total, five people were wounded, Reul said. Police confirmed the casualties were being treated at local hospitals and that none of them was in critical condition.
Reul said the suspect was already known to authorities. However, he added that authorities suspected, but have not confirmed that he had an Islamist motive for the attack.