(JTA) — Germany’s chief federal prosecutor said the alleged gunman who targeted a synagogue in the town of Halle was planning to carry out a “massacre” there.
Peter Frank told reporters that the suspect, identified by the German media as Stephan Balliet, a 27-year-old German citizen from a nearby town, had nearly nine pounds of explosives in his car at the time of his capture, The Associated Press reported.
It is not known how he obtained the explosives or the material to build the homemade weapons he used.
Frank said Thursday that he believed the attacker livestreamed his attack, from a helmet camera, to encourage others to imitate him.
The gunman opened fire near the synagogue in eastern Germany during services Wednesday and at a kebab shop, killing two. The assailant said that Jews are “the root of all problems.”
He is suspected of two counts of murder, nine of attempted murder and other offenses, Frank said.
A manifesto believed to be written by Balliet was posted online before the shooting and distributed by sympathizers on the messaging app Telegram. The manifesto, which was written on Oct. 1, said his objective was to “kill as many anti-whites as possible, Jews preferred.”
Balliet is a resident of Saxony-Anhalt, the German state that includes Halle, according to Der Spiegel, where he lives alone with his mother.
His father told the German Bild newspaper that his son “wasn’t at peace with himself or the world,” the French news service AFP reported. He also said that “The boy was only ever online.”
The father, who is unnamed, was divorced from Balliet’s mother when the alleged shooter was 14.
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