The terrorist group known as Islamic state or ISIS has claimed responsiblity for the truck attack on a Christmas market in the German city of Berlin. The attack which has claimed the lives of 12 people who were at the market took place when a truck that was stolen by the alleged terrorist mounted the kerb and plowed in to the stalls at the popular market.
Although ISIS have claimed the attack, the German legal system has release a man that was arrested at the scene, known only as Naveed B a Pakistani national. He was released as there was insufficient evidence to charge him.
Police around the world will work hard to ensure that Christmas markets that are popular in western Europe will be protected as much as possible after being identified as a potential ISIS target. The attacks have been symbolic as Christian’s prepare for the festival of Christmas, and ISIS have signalled that their aims are now Christian targets, after a Coptic church was bombed in Egypt.
While ISIS have claimed the attack, so far there is little evidence to prove that the driver was one of their so called “soldiers” as ISIS never names these individuals, verification of them being in contact with ISIS is generally pretty thin. On this occasion authorities are treating the claim with a large dose of skepticism, and the prevailing opinion is that ISIS are being opportunists in claiming responsibility for what may be an isolated incident.
It is believed that the truck was stolen whilst its driver was in the cab. The driver, Polish national Lukasz Urban, was found dead in the passenger seat after being shot. He was in Berlin making a delivery for the Polish haulage company that he works for, and the general feeling is that he was the unlucky one, and very unlikely to have been involved. Indeed he was only still in the city, as the company he was delivering to hadn’t been able to receive his delivery and he was awaiting an opportunity to make the delivery.
In a speech German Chancellor Angela Merkel had promised justice, though she herself was being blamed by many for the attack as she had allowed so many refugees in to the country from Syria. Among those dissenters was former UKIP leader Nigel Farage who had indicated that blame lay with the Chancellor. In a rebuttal the widower of murdered MP Jo Cox, scorned Farage on Twitter for his tweet suggesting that blaming politicians for the actions of extremists was a “slippery slope”. In a later interview with radio station LBC, Farage claimed that Mr Cox would know about extremism being a supporter of a group that stands up against the far right, claiming they used violent means. The group, “Hope not hate” has waded in suggesting that if Mr Farage doesn’t rescind the statement then he will face legal action.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.