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Knifeman in Mannheim stabbing Revealed as Afghan Sulaiman Ataee

by Mohammed Ahmed
Knifeman in Mannheim stabbing Revealed as Afghan Sulaiman Ataee

Sulaiman Ataee, the 25-year-old Afghan knifeman who launched a frenzied attack during an anti-Islam rally in Mannheim city center last Friday, has been identified as a father-of-two who was previously perceived as well-integrated into German society. The attack, which was live-streamed on YouTube, left several people injured, including well-known Islam critic Michael Stuerzenberger and a police officer who later died from his injuries.

Ataee, who arrived in Germany as an unaccompanied minor at the age of 14 in 2014, had settled in Heppenheim with his German wife and their two young children. He had obtained a residency permit valid until 2026 and was known among neighbors and friends as a polite and agreeable individual who had worked hard to develop fluency in German.

Despite his seemingly normal demeanor, neighbors noticed a change in Ataee’s behavior roughly a year ago. He became colder and less communicative, a stark contrast to his previously helpful and positive disposition. Residents described him as becoming more reserved and aggressive over time, which they attributed to possible radicalization.

The shocking incident unfolded when Ataee, dressed in a dark hooded jacket and tracksuit, attacked Stuerzenberger and other bystanders with a large knife. Police arrived quickly but not before Ataee had caused significant harm, ultimately leading to the death of 29-year-old police officer Rouven L. Ataee was shot and wounded by police during the attack.

Further investigations revealed that Ataee had allegedly shared ISIS propaganda on YouTube prior to the attack. German newspaper Welt linked him to a now-defunct YouTube account that had posted videos of radical preacher Ahmad Zahir Aslamiyar. Justice Minister Marco Buschmann confirmed on social media that there were clear indications of an Islamist motive behind the attack.

Federal prosecutors, who handle terrorism and national security cases, have taken over the investigation from Mannheim police. Authorities are now examining Ataee’s background and connections to understand the full extent of his radicalization.

The attack has sparked debates about immigration and integration policies in Germany, with anti-immigration campaigners arguing that such incidents could be prevented with stricter measures. The incident has also raised questions about the effectiveness of monitoring individuals who may pose a threat to public safety.

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