Berlin motorway pile-up caused by man attacking vehicles in ‘Islamist terror attack’, German prosecutors say

Six people were injured, three of them severely, when 30-year-old motorist drove into series of vehicles 

Adam Forrest
Wednesday 19 August 2020 09:49
Berlin motorway brought to standstill by man attacking vehicles in ‘possible terror’ act, German prosecutors say

Prosecutors in Germany suspect a series of crashes that brought a Berlin motorway to a standstill on Tuesday night was an “Islamist” terror attack carried out by one 30-year-old man.

Six people were injured, three of them severely, when a motorist drove into a number of vehicles along a stretch of the German capital’s motorway in a black Opel Astra.

“According to the current state of our investigation, this was an Islamist-motivated attack,” the local prosecutor’s office said.

The 30-year-old man detained by police officials is Iraqi, according to Germany’s DPA agency. There were also indications that the man was suffering from psychological problems.

Berlin’s attorney general, Margarete Koppers, is expected to inform the city’s legal committee about investigators’ initial findings later on Wednesday.

Police investigate the scene of a series of car crashes on highway A100 (Reuters)

Investigators earlier cited possible “religious” motivations for the incident, according to Germany’s Bild newspaper. One local prosecution official said the incident was a suspected “Islamist” act.

Local media reported that the man later stopped on the highway and put a box on the roof of his car, claiming it had explosives inside. Specialists opened the box and found only tools.

The man shouted “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great” as he got out of his car, according to local media. Police and prosecutors would not confirm reports of claims or shouts made by the man.

Detained by police, the man is now being investigated for attempted murder.

The series of crashes led to the complete closure of one of the main traffic arteries of Berlin, and long traffic jams continued into Wednesday.

Some 300 people were stuck on the highway for hours and were getting support from the German Red Cross, the Berlin fire department tweeted on Tuesday night.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in