Authorities in Berlin, Germany, suspect terrorism after a man driving a large truck veered into a crowd of people, killing at least nine and injuring scores more in what appears to be an attack similar to the one in Nice, France, over the summer.
German authorities say at least 45 shoppers were injured, a number of them critically. The driver slammed into a crowd of holiday shoppers at around 40 miles per hour in a busy Christmas market, the UK’s Daily Mail noted.
As police and emergency rescue and medical personnel attended to the dead and injured, members of the Islamic State, or ISIS, quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.
Authorities said the truck jumped the curb and ran onto the sidewalk, tearing through stalls and it traveled the length of the market on Breitscheidplatz Square, outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the main shopping center of the German capital.
Same day as Russian diplomat assassinated in Turkey
The driver of the vehicle was arrested nearby shortly after ploughing into the crowd; another man was found dead in the cab, leading to speculation that the Polish-registered truck may have been stolen from a construction location in Poland. The trucking firm reported they had lost contact with the driver over the course of the afternoon.
The apparent attack was reminiscent of the one in Nice in July, which killed more than 75 people. The driver of that vehicle first shot into the crowd celebrating Bastille Day before driving more than two miles along the Promenade des Anglais, the main street in Nice. Police shot and killed the driver before discovering an assortment of firearms, grenades and other explosives in the truck.
French President Francois Hollande said it was obvious that the attack was an act of terrorism, and indeed, ISIS also took credit for that assault.
The alleged attack in Berlin came on the heels of an incident in Ankara, Turkey, where an off-duty police officer assassinated Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey G. Karlov, in apparent retaliation for Moscow’s involvement in Syria, in support of the official government there. Authorities said the man, described by Turkish officials as a 22-year-old off-duty police officer, shouted, “God is great!” and “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” after shooting Karlov.
The Berlin incident also follows repeated warnings from European security agencies that ISIS supporters around the continent would use the holiday season as an opportunity to attack gatherings and soft targets using “lone-wolf” actors.
The UK’s Daily Mirror reported last month that MI5, Britain’s spy agency, warned that an attack in England is “highly likely” over the holidays, with security experts warning that soft targets like markets and outdoor gathering places are high on terrorists’ lists.
In fact, spy agencies throughout Europe have warned of a wave of attacks across the continent, with no specific country singled out. Thus far, Germany, Britain, France and Norway have been the hardest hit by Islamic terrorists.
In the days leading up to the assassination and the Berlin attacks, authorities in France arrested terrorist suspects who were caught with handguns and submachine guns.
‘Europe will see its streets run red with blood’
“Britain is very much in the sights of the jihadists but thankfully plots and plotters have been disrupted and stopped,” one intelligence source told the Daily Mirror. “Whilst UK agencies have been extremely good at preventative intelligence operations against jihadist groups, other European equivalents have been less successful, sadly.”
Just days ago, Bugout.news reported that this kind of chaos and unrest was going to turn European streets red with blood, thanks to a “Muslim problem” that EU leaders (including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel) have brought on themselves.
The site noted that in recent days, 1,000 Muslims took to the streets in London to “demand” that the government be transformed into an Islamic caliphate, which is completely at odds with Britain’s democratic form of government.
“Any nation that permits a foreign culture to occupy its streets and demand the implementation of an authoritarian form of government and religious bigotry is not aiding and abiding “tolerance” and “inclusiveness,” it is allowing a foreign power to gain a foothold that will only be dislodged with bloodshed,” the site noted.
“Europe will see its streets run red with blood — much of it will be European blood — before this ‘problem’ gets solved.”