Germany: Cologne hostage-taking wasn’t terror incident

BERLIN (AP) — German federal prosecutors have handed off the investigation of an October hostage-taking in Cologne after failing to find evidence of an Islamic extremist motive.

Federal prosecutors, who handle terrorism and national security cases, said Friday they were handing the case to Cologne prosecutors. The suspect, a 55-year-old Syrian national, is accused of starting a fire Oct. 15 at Cologne’s main train station in which two people were hurt, before taking an employee at a nearby pharmacy hostage.

Prosecutors said at the time he had demanded the release of a woman whose husband was involved in terrorist activities, and claimed to be a member of the Islamic State group.

But they said Friday that the investigation didn’t confirm an Islamic extremist motive and no evidence emerged of actual involvement with IS.

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