Germany must crack down on hate crimes, says Merkel

Police secures the area after a shooting in the eastern German city of Halle

Police secures the area after a shooting in the eastern German city of Halle

German chancellor Angela Merkel joined a vigil held at Berlin's New Synagogue after the attack.

The attack on Wednesday in the city of Halle left two people dead but the number could have been much higher as the gunman failed to break through the synagogue door, despite repeatedly shooting at it and attempting to blast it open with an improvised bomb. Before he was captured, he also wounded a man and a woman.

Frank said investigators "face a lot of questions", among them how the suspect became radicalized, how he acquired weapons and explosives or obtained materials to build them, and whether anyone else encouraged him or knew about his plan. "That means. the representatives of the state must use all the means of the state to crack down on hate, violence and hostility towards people".

"There must be zero tolerance", Merkel said.

"We all know, we only just avoided a bad attack on the people in the synagogue", she added.

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Recordings of the shooting were also uploaded to Twitch, which in June prompted the company to sue 100 anonymous users to reveal the identities of those who put the recordings - in addition to pornography, copyrighted videos, and other terms of service violations - on their platform.

Annette Hechler, a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor, said they are investigating the video. "We have been saying for several years that anti-Semitism is real, it's resurgent, it's lethal and it's multi-sourced", American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris said.

And Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, echoed the World Jewish Congress in criticising Germany's security arrangements.

"This negligence has now been bitterly repaid".

Meanwhile, German Interior Minister has accused right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) of being partially responsible for the attack, and said they should distance themselves from inflammatory and hateful rhetoric. Authorities at the local, regional, and national level should invest substantially in efforts to counter risky speech, and to promote inclusiveness and respect. "He confirmed far-right and anti-Semitic motives" for the attack, the spokesman said.

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AfD parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel pushed back, saying critics were "exploiting this terrible crime to defame their political rivals with baseless defamation".

In the video, the man denies the Holocaust happened before launching into a misogynistic, antisemitic and xenophobic rant.

Pictures from the scene showed a body lying in the street behind a police cordon.

Balliet, named by prosecutors yesterday as their main suspect, was described by his father in an interview with newspaper Bild as a friendless figure who lived his life online, blaming others for his own failings.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Christchurch Call kicked into action after the video was livestreamed.

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"We learned about the attack during Yom Kippur prayers, when a senior security official approached me in the middle of the Musaf prayer and informed me of the attack". Rebecca Blady, who moved from NY to Berlin earlier this year, was one of the Americans inside.

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