Tuesday, August 16

Pakistani refugee blamed for Berlin Christmas market terror attack


 

 

A Pakistani refugee named only as Naved B. has been named as the prime suspect in the Berlin Christmas market tragedy by German media.

The 23-year-old arrived in Germany a year ago, Bild reported citing security sources.

Police have said at least 12 people died when the huge vehicle smashed into booths outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the centre of the city.

The truck is believed to have Polish numberplates.

The suspect had been living in Flughfen Tempelhof – an old airport converted into a refugee centre.

He was reportedly known as a petty criminal but authorities had not considered him to be a terror suspect.

Four young men were also questioned after police stormed the Tempelhof hangar and it is thought that one was arrested.

German officials are interrogating a lorry driver, assumed to be a suspect, who was arrested about 1.24 miles (2 km) from the crash site, according to the official tweet from the police. The country’s interior minister Thomas de Maiziere also stated that many things point to a deliberate attack.

On Dec. 19, 2016, a truck plowed into a Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, Germany, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50. (Pictured) Police inspect the damaged truck.

According to a spokesman from the Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs the raid began at 3am on Tuesday.

There were up to 250 officers, including police special ops forces, although the number was eventually reduced.

The operation was brought to an end at 8am.

Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann called for a review of the country’s refugee policy if the person behind the alleged attack had indeed sought asylum in Germany.

He said: If it is confirmed that this attack was committed by someone who has been registered as an asylum seeker in the country, then it must lead to a fundamental reflection on the design of the whole refugee system.

Terrified market-goers have tweeted panicked images from the scene of the incident which comes an hour after the Russian ambassador was shot dead in Ankara.

Around 50 people were injured in the attack as many crushed under its wheels.

The truck is believed to have been doing 40mph when it ploughed into shoppers.

Video from the scene shows a huge articulated lorry smashed into the middle of the market on Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz.

Local police are saying the incident is probably a terror attack and the driver of the truck is believed to be on the run.

According to information from Die Welt, there have been suspicions of a potential attack on Berlin for days.

The incident occurred at about 8pm with the truck coming in from Kantstrasse destroying booths along the way.

Germany’s Christmas markets have been feared as a key target for jihadis following a series of other Islamist terror attacks in Germany and elsewhere in Europe this year.