BERLIN — A day right after a bizarre series of crashes on a Berlin autobahn left numerous folks injured, the city’s public prosecutor’s workplace announced on Wednesday that it was investigating irrespective of whether what occurred was element of an Islamist terrorist assault.
A thirty-12 months-previous guy in a car or truck was “strongly suspected” of “having hunted down motorcyclists,” Martin Steltner, the spokesman for the prosecutor’s workplace, explained at a information conference.
The driver, who the authorities explained was an Iraqi citizen born in Baghdad, appeared to trigger 3 separate crashes by ramming his car or truck into two motorcycles and a single scooter on distinct sections of the A100, an autobahn that runs by way of Berlin, throughout the Tuesday evening rush hour. He later on yelled “God is great” in Arabic and threatened to detonate a bomb.
Berlin has endured an Islamist motor vehicle assault prior to: In 2016, an assailant plowed a stolen truck by way of a well known Christmas industry in the city, leaving twelve folks dead. Earlier this 12 months a Tunisian guy was convicted of setting up an assault employing ricin, a lethal toxin, and provided a ten-12 months jail sentence. Immediately after a tip, the police arrested the guy in 2018. But in current many years, most terrorist attacks in Germany — like a single in the west of the nation that left ten folks dead 6 months in the past — have been carried out by ideal-wing extremists.
“It shocks me deeply that the accident on the A100 was apparently deliberately induced and the incident on the autobahn is now classified by the investigators as an assault,” Michael Müller, Berlin’s mayor, explained in statement.
In accordance to the country’s domestic intelligence company, the variety of folks belonging to Islamist terrorist organizations in Germany grew by five.five % to twelve,150 from 2018 to 2019. This 12 months, the country’s Interior Ministry banned the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah from any routines on German soil.
Even though the Berlin prosecutor’s workplace explained it was nonetheless wanting for any backlinks among the suspect and recognized terrorist groups, it explained there have been indications he had a historical past of psychological sickness.
6 folks have been wounded, 3 severely, in the crashes, in accordance to the authorities.
Immediately after the final crash, in which a motorcyclist was pinned towards a passenger car or truck, the suspected assailant acquired out of his motor vehicle, positioned what looked like a munitions box on its roof and a prayer mat on the street and started off praying, in accordance to Mr. Steltner. He was arrested by officers in spite of threatening violence and saying that the box contained a bomb.
“On the basis of the all round conditions, on the basis of the man’s habits and on the basis of his expressions, we have to presume a religious, Islamist background to these acts,” explained Mr. Steltner.
Immediately after opening the box, the police located it contained only equipment, and the autobahn was largely reopened.
The prosector’s workplace is nonetheless figuring out costs, but Mr. Steltner explained the suspected assailant would encounter at least 3 counts of attempted murder. As is program in Germany at this stage in proceedings, the suspect’s identify has not been publicly confirmed.
A judge is anticipated to rule on Wednesday irrespective of whether the guy need to remain in custody or be taken to a psychological-wellbeing facility.