The terrorist attack that took place on 22nd of June in Munich reveals a worrying degree of unpreparedness of the counter-terror agencies.
When on Friday, the capital of Bavaria begins preparations for a weekend, the armed attacker fires shots at children and parents at the door of the McDonald’s restaurant nearby the Olympia Park shopping centre. On the online video he looks like a man in his 20s betraying signs of a military training: he is confident and coordinated. He does not directs gun at everyone around the restaurant. He looks like as he would target, first of all, children and youth.
The shots are also being reported inside the shopping centre and nearby parking lot. It seems like three locations were under simultaneous attack of terrorists. The video of a shooter standing of the roof of the shopping centre is being posted online. He wears a red rucksack and after an angry exchange with people, who appear to be in a safe distance and not visible to him, he shots at the front of himself.
These acts of brutality reported also on Twitter and Facebook understandably cause a panic not only among shoppers and passers-by but also in other parts of the city . Witnesses are Tweeting that there are three shooters around the Olympia Shopping Centre. This is the centre with over hundred of shops, restaurants and Cafés with dozens of steps, elevators and escalators.
Locating of terrorists in such a shopping centre may take several hours and it may require to introduce additional measure. Indeed this is what is happening. Munich Police admits on Twitter that terrorists are at large. The city authorities are deciding to suspend the local transportation, blockade of main arteries in the city and the closure of roads to Munich. The helicopters are hovering over the streets and thousands of armed police are being placed on the main streets to shield those who have to find a shelter. The restaurants and hotels are being closed in the centre.
The information about the casualties are contradictory. Some sources report dozens of dead and “high amount” of injured other estimation are even less vague. The greater picture is emerging after “all of nurses and doctors” are being called to the city hospitals. The city authorities inform that the units of Austrian special police are also joining manhunt. Not only Bavaria region seems to be under the terrorist threat but also the region of Saxony introduces a state of emergency.
It takes several hours for Munich police to announce that the shooter was the only one. He had a Glock 9mm Pistol. It is not however Police that apprehends, or eliminates in any other way the shooter but his own decision – he kills himself.
German police informs that there are ten dead and sixteen injured persons. Four of injured are in a critical condition.
The narrative of the shootings provided by the Munich police reveals a worrying degree of an unpreparedness and helplessness of German countertenor agencies for such an incident. It took a one man to paralyse 2,5 million city and put on high alert two administrative regions of Germany. Clearly the attack imitating the operation of “at least” three armed terrorists in three locations, which had so powerful impact on a big city indicates the high level of sophistication and preparedness. It definitely required a special training to run such an attack. This argument itself challenges at least part of current narrative that the Munich shooter acted out of depression.
There are also pieces of information that the attacker received training in Iran. French blog discusses such a possibility after finding of what seems to be photos from such training on the presumed Facebook account the the attacker.