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AfD co-chairman Tino Chrupalla in hospital following claims of a needle attack at an election rally in Ingolstadt
Tino Chrupalla, co-chairman of the right-populist German Alternative für Deutschland party, was rushed to hospital following what he and AfD officials characterise as an attack at a rally in Ingolstadt. He remains under medical observation in intensive care. While taking selfies with the public shortly before a scheduled speech, he felt a pain in his upper arm, after which he began to experience severe nausea, cramping and vertigo. Doctors discovered the likely point of the pinprick, which was lightly red and swollen.
Early reports held that police had made two arrests in connection with the incident. It now seems that they merely searched two men with whom Chrupalla was the last to pose for a photo. The state prosecutor’s office confirm that they are investigating, but insist they have no concrete indications of an attack. Earlier today Chrupalla provided blood samples to investigators.
Chrupalla was supposed to give a speech at the rally four days before the Bavarian state elections, but the incident happened before his appearance … The right-wing populist Austrian politician and publicist Gerald Grosz (formerly of the FPÖ and BZÖ) said that he had greeted Chrupalla and that he had appeared “very fit and put together.” He had been “besieged by selfie-hunters and fans.” “Then he turned aside to his associate and said, ‘Look, it was them.’ And he gestured in which direction to look. I couldn’t see what he was pointing at.”
Shortly afterwards, he saw Chrupalla “being dragged to a police escort vehicle, supported by a bodyguard and his co-worker” … Then an ambulance arrived, and police investigators began questioning event personnel. “A few metres in front of Chrupalla’s car there was a small pointed needle in the paving stones on the ground, about one and a half to two centimetres in size … It looked like a pin board needle, and was photographed by the police officers and taken away by forensics.”
Grosz also told reporters early on that Chrupalla suffered an anaphylactic shock, but later reporting from Junge Freiheit, whose reporters are well-connected to the AfD, has denied that this was so. Their latest update speaks instead of a “possible poisoning.”
I’ve waited all day to post about this case, because I’m far from certain Chrupalla was actually attacked. Unfortunately, it looks as if it will be some days yet before we know more. The incident is worth noting despite the considerable doubts surrounding it, however, because of recent threats to Chrupalla’s fellow AfD chair, Alice Weidel. She cancelled a scheduled appearance at an AfD holiday rally in Mödlareuth on Tuesday, appearing via video link from Mallorca instead, following a “security incident” at her family’s home in Switzerland on 23 September and advice from Swiss police to avoid her residence.
In the summer, I noted in passing the attack on Augsburg AfD politician Andreas Jurca. He was badly beaten in the early morning hours of 12 August, allegedly by a group of men – likely migrants – who approached and asked him about his candidacy for a position in the Bavarian parliament. Establishment journalists eagerly doubted Jurca’s account, but today police confirmed that they have searched the flats of two suspects in the attack.
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