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German state launches investigation into police response to Halle synagogue attack

HALLE, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: People mourn in front of the entrance to the Jewish synagogue on October 10, 2019 in Halle, Germany. Law enforcement authorities, after initially speaking of multiple attackers, are now referring to a single attacker who has been apprehended. A video, apparently streamed by the attacker live and with commentary from the shooting spree, shows him attempt and fail to force his way into the synagogue in Halle. He then, using what he describes as an improvised weapon, shoots a woman happening to pass by his car on the street and drives to a nearby kebab shop, where he shoots a man inside several times. Afterwards he fires at police blocking a street ahead of him, only to be wounded by returned fire. Towards the end of the video he states that he is bleeding and that he has been shot, and calls himself a ìcomplete loserî in an apparent apology to his perceived audience for not delivering the ìactionî he had anticipated. According to media reports the attacker has been identified as 27-year-old Stephan B. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

BERLIN (JTA) – A surveillance video of the Yom Kippur attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany, has raised questions about police response and readiness, leading to an investigation by the state government there.

Concerns were triggered after German news organizations examined the synagogue’s security video. The state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt  announced the probe into possible lapses.

About 50 worshippers were in the synagogue when the attack started shortly after noon on Oct. 9. The assailant filmed the attack with his own camera, but the synagogue camera also captured what happened after he left the scene.

Shots are heard in the background as callers to police describe the perpetrator, identified as Stephan Balliet, his car and license plate number. The assailant, wearing combat gear and carrying several firearms, had shot a woman passerby near the synagogue and thrown explosives over an adjacent wall into the Jewish cemetery.

The surveillance video shows that eight minutes passed before the first police car arrives. An officer remains several feet from the prone woman who was shot. No medical personnel appear, and police appear not to be armed or wearing protective gear.

The assailant is seen on the surveillance tape driving past the synagogue for a second time. No one notices.

Following the attack, the head of Germany’s Jewish community questioned why police had not been assigned to protect the synagogue on Yom Kippur.

The post German state launches investigation into police response to Halle synagogue attack appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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