Twelve people were killed and 48 people were injured by a large truck this past Monday night in a Berlin Christmas market. Following the event on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told media that it was being investigated as a terrorist attack.
The German police are still searching for the driver of the truck, who apparently fled the scene after the crash. According to The Guardian, police are looking for a Tunisian man.
An ISIS news affiliate, the Amaq News Agency, informed readers that the perpetrator of the attack was “a soldier of the Islamic State,” but authorities have yet to find any evidence suggesting ISIS was directly involved in the attack. If there is a connection to the Islamic State, it was likely only one of motivation, similar to the attack at Ohio State in November. Often, ISIS takes responsibility for an attack even when the person was not involved with ISIS in any tangible way.
On Tuesday night, a man that had been arrested at the scene of the incident was released from police custody because there was not enough proof of his involvement, according to CNN.
One of the victims of the attack was a man found dead in the truck itself, but it remains unclear whether he was involved or if the truck had been taken over by one person, the attacker. The man had been shot, and no gun was found at the scene.
Since Tuesday, the police released the name of a new suspect, Anis Amri, a name that was found on documents in the truck. According to media reports, Amri is a 24-year-old native of Tunisia.
German officials asked that the media exercise caution in reporting on Amri and others involved in the attack. “I ask for your [the media’s] understanding not to issue any speculation about this person,” said German interior minister Thomas de Maizière in a statement. Supposed information about Amri’s life has already begun to be uncovered and reported on, however.
In late November, an alert had been issued by the U.S. State Department warning travelers to Europe of potential terrorist attacks occurring over the holiday season. “Credible information indicates the Islamic State...and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season,” the statement said.
The Christmas market, otherwise busy during the holiday season, has apparently only been occupied by members of the press since the attack.