German synagogue shooting was far-right terror, justice minister says

Media captionAngela Merkel joined the Jewish community for a vigil in solidarity in Berlin

A shooting at a synagogue in the German city of Halle on Monday was a far-right terror attack, said Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht.

Alleged perpetrator Stephan Balliet had four kilos (9lb) of explosives in his car, Ms Lambrecht said in a statement with attorney-general Peter Frank.

Mr Frank said the gunman had been planning a massacre.

The suspect 27, faces two counts of murder and nine counts of attempted murder, German media report.

The German national is due to appear in court on Thursday afternoon.

Prosecutors allege he intended to create a “worldwide effect” by deliberately mimicking tactics used during a mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques earlier this year.

About 2,200 people watched a live stream he allegedly posted on the online streaming platform Twitch.

Could the attack have been prevented?

About 60 worshippers were at a Yom Kippur service at the time of the attack.

German police have faced criticism from the nation’s most prominent Jewish community group, which accused the force of “negligence” in its handling of the attack.

The head of the Central Council of Jews said it was “scandalous” that police were not protecting the synagogue on the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday.

“If police had been stationed outside the synagogue, then this man could have been…

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