On Tuesday, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Berlin Christmas market attack that killed 12 people and injured 48 more. While the group’s Amaq news agency said the still-unknown driver was “a soldier of the Islamic State,” they primarily claimed that they inspired the attack (rather than admitting to planning it). It’s a similar statement to ISIS’ claims after this year’s Bastille Day attack in Paris.
At this time, a suspect is still at large after authorities freed the Pakistani asylum seeker who was initially taken into custody. However, the Islamic State’s claim gels with authorities’ speedy belief that the crash was purposeful, and that it was an act of terror. Although the motive for the attack now seems certain, police haven’t expressed any clues about potential suspects. Nor have they uncovered a weapon, which is a missing piece of the puzzle after one victim was reportedly discovered with gunshot wounds.
It may seem like police are back at square one, but they’re not resting:
In Berlin, meanwhile, the release of their only suspect left police scrambling for fresh leads in the assault. German police accelerated efforts to study forensic evidence, including analysis of blood stains within the cabin of the truck — turned into a weapon in a tactic used just five months earlier in a similar holiday rampage on France’s southern coast.
Despite the current state of the investigation, the popular Christmas market is remaining open with authorities warning citizens to stay on alert.