Where is the Berlin Christmas market killer?
German police FREE Pakistani suspect after admitting he is wrong man – as ISIS praise ‘soldier’ who killed 12
- Security sources have no clue where the armed real killer is after questioning wrong man for 12 hours
- Senior police chief said: ‘We have wrong man. Perpetrator is armed, at large and can cause further damage’
- Arrested Pakistani asylum seeker Naved B, 23, entered country under false name and has criminal record
- Tonight German prosecutors said the suspect had been released because of insufficient evidence
- Asylum seeker was living inside hangar for immigrants at a Berlin airport since raided by commandos at 4am
- Tonight the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed 12 and injured at least 48
- Three of the dead have not yet been identified but six victims have been confirmed as German citizens
- Driver steered at crowds – including children – along 80 metre stretch of pavement packed with stalls
- Polish-registered lorry understood ‘stolen by hijacker’, who shot driver Lukasz Urban in head in hijacking
- Angela Merkel says Germany is in ‘mourning’ – but terror attack could be hammer blow to 2017 election hopes
The terror group hailed the lorry driver – who murdered 12 people and injured at least 48 others – a ‘soldier’ and praised him for ‘targeting nationals of the coalition countries’.
Tonight German police faced difficult questions about their investigation after they released the only suspect they had in custody, saying there was not enough evidence to tie him to the rampage.
Naved B, a 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker, had been detained in the immediate aftermath of last night’s carnage following a tip-off from witnesses. But Naved B, who had no blood on his clothes and no injuries, denied having anything to do with bloodbath. It means the killer lorry driver remains on the loose and armed with a gun.
Berlin prosecutor Holger Münch has warned of a ‘serious threat’ of another ‘significant’ terror attack and Berliners were urged to stay indoors.
Meanwhile Interior minister for a German state, Klaus Bouillon, said that Germany is ‘in a state of war’ after the massacre on Breitscheidplatz Square last night – the seventh in the country this year.
A security services source, a senior police officer, told die Welt newspaper: ‘We have the wrong man. The true perpetrator is still armed, at large and can cause further damage.’
Will the lorry killer strike again? Police and the security services are hunting for the Christmas market killer and admit a second terror attack could be imminent
Terror attack chain of events: The polish lorry was hijacked when it arrived in Berlin and hours later was driven through Christmas market crowds. The main suspect was pursued on foot and arrested – but it appears he is the wrong man.
Police also raided the hangar he lives in with other asylum seekers at the Tempelhof airport
Carnage: The lorry used to kill a dozen people in Berlin last night was towed away from the scene as a 23-year-old asylum seeker was being interrogated
Horror 2016: These are all the terror attacks carried out on German soil in the past year, claiming the lives of 22 people
Tonight federal prosecutors said brave witnesses who had tried to follow the truck driver in the aftermath of the tragedy had lost track of the target.
Naved B matched the witnesses’ descriptions of the truck driver, but investigators have not been able to prove he was in the cab at the time of the attack, prosecutors said tonight.
Germany’s top prosecutor Peter Frank also said earlier that they cannot rule out that more than one person may be on the run, adding Naved B ‘may not have been the perpetrator or belong to the group of perpetrators’.
Tonight the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the fatal attack.
At 7pm last night a juggernaut laden with steel cargo turned off its lights and ripped through stalls and shoppers at 40mph on Breitscheidplatz Square, outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the German capital’s main shopping area.
Witnesses said victims including children were sent flying like bowling pins and sucked under the wheels leaving ‘rivers of blood’ as the killer driver steered at them before jumping out of the cab and racing from the scene.
Only six of the nine dead have been identified but Italian Fabrizia Lorenzo, 31, transport specialist worker is missing and her mobile phone and travel pass were found in the crash zone.
After another terror attack on German soil this year it was revealed:
- 12 people are dead and 48 are injured – 16 seriously – after a lorry is driven at 40mph through crowds at the famous Breitscheidplatz Square Christmas market at 7pm last night.
- Hours earlier the lorry was hijacked from a Polish driver taking steel to Berlin from Italy. Lukasz Urban, a father of one, was found shot dead in its cab. It is not yet clear when he died.
- Witnesses to the massacre saw a masked man flee the lorry. A member of the public chased the Pakistani suspect Naved B, who was arrested in the Tiergarten park. Police have since released the suspect, admitting they have insufficient evidence to tie him to the rampage.Berlin’s police chief Klaus Kandt said the ‘dangerous criminal’ behind a deadly truck rampage may still be on the run whileInterior minister for a German state, Klaus Bouillon, said that Germany is ‘in a state of war’ after the massacre on Breitscheidplatz Square last night – the seventh in the country this year.
- Police commando squad raid a hangar at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, which was closed and used as a camp for refugees including Naved B, who is believed to have entered Germany a year ago under a false name. Four men are questioned and a laptop and mobile phone seized
- Angela Merkel lays white roses at the scene of the massacre and says ‘we have to assume we are dealing with a terrorist attack’. Amid fears an asylum seeker is the perpertrator she says: ‘It would be particularly hard to bear for all of us if it was confirmed that a person committed this crime who asked for protection and asylum in Germany’
- The White House says President Barack Obama has spoken by phone with Chancellor Merkel. Vladimir Putin has also offered his condolences
ISIS supporters used an encrypted messaging service to call for more attacks just half an hour after the Berlin Christmas market atrocity, it has emerged.
A German-speaking fanatic reportedly urged members of the terror group to carry out a repeat of the mass killing using tactics ‘the enemy can never stop’.
German newspaper Bild reported that an ISIS follower had used Telegram to tell fellow extremists: ‘You need nothing more than a car… and then a proper intention and a Kuffar crowd.’
Police said a ‘hero’ witness in the Christmas market gave chase on foot while giving officers second-by-second updates on his phone, but now they believe Naved B is the wrong man.
The lorry’s original Polish driver, Lukasz Urban, a father of one, was transporting steel beams into Germany, but was found shot in the cab after the crash. The gun has not been found.
The terror attack could be a political disaster for Angela Merkel, who will seek a historic fourth term as German Chancellor next year. The German leader, who left white roses as the scene this afternoon, has staked much of her political capital in opening up Germany’s doors to refugees and in doing so divided a reunited land.
If you remember the July 2015 attack in Nice France last year you see that the suspect Naved B was let go by police as part of some form of collusion.
Pakistani refugee? – sure