Unassuming holiday shoppers became victims of a terrorist attack when a huge black truck carrying 25 tons of steel plowed into a Berlin outdoor market at 40 miles per hour, killing 12 and injuring 48. This happened in the Berlin Breitscheidplatz at 8:00 P.M. local time. The man who drove the truck then jumped out and ran trying to escape. He was pursued by a witness for 15 minutes as police closed in and captured him over a mile and half away.
A person in the cab of the truck presumably the original driver that was overpowered died in the truck as paramedics attempted to save his life. He was from Poland as was the truck. Another live person was taken out of the cab and is assumed to be an accomplice of the driver.
According to Der Tagesspiegel, the driver was thought to be a Pakistani or Afghani refugee who came in February. He already had a history of small offenses, not terror related, during his short stay in Berlin but because he has multiple aliases it is difficult to confirm his nationality.
The truck came to Berlin from Poland which is a 90 minute drive away. The owner of the truck company Ariel Zurawski said they lost contact with the driver and fear that he was overpowered and the truck was hijacked. He told TVN24 “They must have done something to my driver”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel accepted waves of migrants from Africa and the Middle East these past few years. This terror attack will again raise questions about the wisdom of her decision. Right wing groups are taking advantage of this situation which they always decried could happen. They with their ‘I told you so’ will gain traction in Germany and around Europe.
The U.S. like Berlin believes it was a terrorist attack. Donald Trump said ‘it is linked to ISIS other Islamic terrorists and global jihad.’ Both the U.S. and Berlin commented on the similarities between the Nice, France attack on Bastille Day and the Berlin attack last night. They both involved trucks plowing into crowds. ISIS and other terrorist groups have promoted this method of attack. The Yemeni branch of AL Qaeda called even the relatively small pickup truck “a mowing machine…to mow down the enemies of Allah”. In Israel cars were driven into crowded Jerusalem light rail stations causing fatalities more than once.
In Berlin they lit memorial candles after the Nice, France attack. Sadly they will now light candles for a similar attack at home.