A suspect is in custody after a deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin killed 12 people and injured 48 more, including some with severe injuries — but authorities are casting doubt on whether they have the right man.
The suspect denies involvement, and police officials said at a press conference on Tuesday that they are not entirely certain the man in custody was the driver of the truck. There have been no further arrests, authorities said.
On Twitter, the Berlin police said that because the “temporary arrested suspect” denied the charges, they are “particularly alert.”
“Please also be alert,” they told Berlin residents.
There is “no doubt” the crash on Monday was an intentional attack, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said at a press conference Tuesday. Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously said authorities “must assume” the attack was an act of terrorism.
De Maiziere identified the detained suspect as a Pakistani asylum-seeker, whose application for asylum had not been fully processed. He was “known to authorities,” but not suspected of any ties to terror, the interior minister said.
The Associated Press reports that the suspect was arrested about a mile and a half from the site of crash.
Speaking earlier on Tuesday, Merkel noted that the attack was still under investigation, and much was unknown, the AP reports:
“But Merkel, who has been criticized for allowing in large numbers of migrants, addressed head-on the possibility that an asylum-seeker was responsible.
” ‘I know that it would be particularly hard for us all to bear if it were confirmed that a person committed this act who asked for protection and asylum in Germany,’ Merkel said. ‘This would be particularly sickening for the many, many Germans who work to help refugees every day and for the many people who really need our help and are making an effort to integrate in our country.’ ”
Merkel will visit the site of the attack later on Tuesday.
The victims of the attack included a Polish citizen found in the truck, who appeared to have been shot, officials said; the weapon has not been found.
The owner of a Polish trucking company told a German broadcaster he had identified the man to police as the truck’s driver, the AP reports.
“His face was swollen and bloodied. It was really clear that he was fighting for his life,” trucking company owner Ariel Zurawski told TVN, according to an AP translation.
As the Two-Way reported yesterday, last month, the U.S. State Department warned of a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.”
Christmas markets like the one that was attacked are extremely popular in Germany, NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi-Nelson explained Monday:
“They start about four weeks before Christmas. You have to picture little huts, with all sorts of handicrafts, and they sell all kinds of foods and of course the very famous Glühwein, or mulled wine, which is the most popular drink that you would get there. It’s just a fun place for family and friends to get together.”
Liberals are defending Angela Merkel, which is surely a sign of fifth rate thinking. From The Independent:
There is no-one to blame but those who carried out the attacks. Nigel Farage’s tweet, describing the murders as “Merkel’s legacy” was breathtakingly asinine even by his standards; does Mr Farage, and his allies, really believe that Germany and the world would have been better off to allow thousands to drown in the Mediterranean or freeze to death in refugee camps rather than follow the moral imperative to show mercy and save lives? When Nigel Farage says that the attack was “inevitable” what he should really be examining is how the fracturing of the Middle East and the refugee crisis that have followed was a direct result of Western policy and the wars that George Bush and Tony Blair visited upon the region. That is where the roots of these atrocities can be traced to. They are nothing to do with Islam, at any rate, nor to do Muslim people who simply wish to make some sort of life for themselves and their families in a strange eland they find themselves exiled in.
While the left is demonizing the perfectly normal desire for safety, American President-elect Donald John Trump is defiant, according to the Daily Mail.
Donald Trump has vowed to ‘eradicate’ terrorists from the ‘face of the earth’ after 12 people were killed at a Berlin Christmas market.
The president-elect said it was a ‘horrifying terror attack’ and would push the US and its ‘freedom-loving partners’ to take on ISIS.
Paul Joseph Watson speaks common sense.
The voice of the public is speaking on Twitter.
This silly woman says we all want peace. NO, they do not!!!
This story is still developing. Trump will be demonized for his opposition to Muslim terrorists. Merkel will be praised for her values and her leadership. Muslims will view all of this confusion as weakness and will plot more attacks.
All you need now to get your 72 virgins in heaven is to be able to steal a truck and gun the engine.