Zurich Mosque Attacker Suspected of Links to Occult, Not Terror

Ambulance and police cars are seen outside an Islamic center in Zurich, on Dec. 19, 2016.

Photographer: Michael Buholzer/AFP via Getty Images

A man, who opened fire on people praying in an Islamic center in Zurich before killing himself, isn’t suspected of ties to terrorism, according to the police.

“There were certain indications that the perpetrator may have had an interest in the occult,” Christiane Lentjes Meili of the Zurich police said in a press conference on Tuesday. “There is no indication of a link to terrorism or to Islamic State.”

The 24-year-old man, who had a Swiss passport, entered the central Zurich mosque on Monday afternoon and injured three people. After fleeing the crime scene he shot himself and his body was found near the mosque. He is also suspected of murdering a man who was found on Sunday in the Schwamendingen district of Zurich and a manhunt was already underway when he committed the subsequent crime.

The motive is still unclear, Lentjes Meili said, adding that there is no indication of a connection to attacks in Berlin and Ankara that occurred on Monday.

Gun possession in Switzerland, where citizens can keep army-issue firearms after mandatory military service, is among the world’s highest.

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