Incident Summary:

01/05/2020: An assailant attempted to stab police officers in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The assailant was killed when the officers opened fire and there were no other reported casualties. No group claimed responsibility for the incident. Sources noted that the assailant may have shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the attack.




Western Europe

region/u.s. state:

North Rhine-Westphalia


Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) No
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity North-Rhine Westphalia Police
Specific Description Officers
Nationality of Target Germany
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Melee Blunt Object
Weapon Details
A knife and a club were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) Yes
Alternate Designation (more) Lack of Intentionality
Additional Information There is doubt that this incident meets terrorism-related criteria. The assailant was being treated for serious mental illness and was known to police for other offenses.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 1
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Policeman kills suspected attacker in Germany - terrorism ruled out," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 6, 2020.
"Gelsenkirchen: German police shoot knifeman dead," BBC, January 6, 2020.
"German police kill man who approached them with knife," Journal-Gazette, January 6, 2020.