After the knife attack with two dead in a regional train in Schleswig-Holstein, there are still open questions about how the authorities will deal with the suspect, who was previously a criminal. The question is whether the bloody crime, which a 33-year-old stateless Palestinian is said to have committed, could have been prevented, said Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) on Thursday evening in Brokstedt. It must be clarified, “how could it be that such a perpetrator was still here in the country”.

In the knife attack on the train from Kiel to Hamburg, a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old were killed on Wednesday and five other travelers were injured, some seriously. The attacker was arrested by the police at Brokstedt train station after other passengers overpowered him. The 33-year-old suspect was released just a few days ago by order of the Hamburg Regional Court from Billwerder Prison, where he was in custody for a violent crime.

According to the authorities, the man had repeatedly committed violent crimes since entering Germany in 2014. A subsidiary protection status prevented his deportation.

“How could it happen that he was no longer in a prison despite so many previous convictions?” asked Faeser, who had come to Brokstedt with Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU). Now it has to be clarified how it could happen “that he was released from custody so early,” said Faeser, and “why are people who are so violent still here in Germany”?

According to the Hamburg judicial authorities, the suspect had been psychiatrically assessed a few days before the attack on the train at Billwerder Prison. “Shortly before the release, a psychiatrist found no harm to others or to himself,” said a spokeswoman on Thursday evening. That is why there was no reliable evidence to apply for legal support or to turn on the social psychiatric service.

According to the Itzehoe public prosecutor’s office, there is no evidence of a terrorist background to the crime. According to Schleswig-Holstein’s interior minister, Sabine Sütterlin-Waack (CDU), the man’s interrogation has not yielded any results so far, so nothing can be said about his motives. She therefore warned against hasty political demands as a reaction to the terrible events.

Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki told “Bild” that the “full broadside of the rule of law” was needed. “These actions must lead us to ask: What went wrong between 2014 and 2016?” Kubicki warned to keep an eye on “our country’s ability to integrate”. Germany cannot “take in an infinite number of people who we would then no longer be able to look after and integrate”.

As a consequence of the fact, the police union (GdP) called for more police officers and security personnel at train stations, for example. “The federal police are too weak at the train stations. There are 3,000 jobs missing,” said Andreas Roßkopf, responsible for the federal police and customs department at the GdP, the editorial network Germany (RND/Friday). “And there is also a lack of security forces on the train.” Deutsche Bahn pointed out that in addition to almost 5,500 federal police officers, around 4,300 security forces were on duty around the clock at stations and on trains.

According to the authorities, the dead knew each other. Both would have attended a vocational school in Neumünster. Schleswig-Holstein’s Education Minister Karin Prien (CDU) wanted to be there on Friday to talk to the school management, teachers and classmates. Friends and classmates now need special support to process what has happened.

Faeser and Günther commemorated the victims in Brokstedt on Thursday and also met emergency services who were the first on the train on Wednesday to help. Everyone did a “great job,” said Günther. “We have expressed our thanks and respect to them.” In the evening around 100 people came together at the station with candles.

The Evangelical Lutheran parish of Brokstedt wants to commemorate the victims with a prayer this Friday. According to the Altholstein church district, the prayer is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the Brokstedt church. Visitors can light a candle. Thanks should also be given to the rescue workers.