Naved B: Berlin suspect named as 23-year-old Pakistani refugee

Asylum-seeker reportedly arrived in Germany around a year ago and lived in airport accommodation centre

Harriet Agerholm
Tuesday 20 December 2016 09:21 GMT
Berlin attack: Suspect arrested by German police

The man arrested in connection with the suspected terror attack on a crowded Berlin Christmas market which killed 12 people, has been identified by local media as a 23-year-old Pakistani refugee.

The suspect is being interrogated and denies involvement in the attack, Germany's interior minister said.

"Naved B" had been living in Flughfen Tempelhof – an old airport that had been converted into a refugee centre – and was detained last night following the attack.

The 23-year-old travelled to Germany a year ago via the Balkans and registered on 31 December 2015 in Passau, Bavaria, according to local media.

The suspect was granted a temporary residence permit in June 2016, according to the Die Welt newspaper, which cited a criminal police report.

German interior minister Karl Ernst Thomas de Maizière told a press conference on Tuesday that Naved B's application for asylum had not yet been completed.

When he arrived in Berlin in February, he spoke a dialect for which no translator could be founded, Mr Maizière added

The lorry was deliberately driven at the crowd for between 50 and 80 metres, law enforcement officials have claimed.

Witnesses of the Berlin attack described scenes of panic as a lorry veered off the road at around 8pm local time.

At least 12 were killed and 48 more injured in the incident at the market, just off the infamous shopping street Kurfürstendamm, near the Victory Column monument.

The suspect was picked up around 2km from the scene before being questioned.

Four young men were also questioned after German special forces police stormed a hangar at Berlin's Tempelhof airpot on Tuesday morning, but no arrests were made.

Bavaria's interior minister Joachim Herrmann has called for a review of German refugee policy in light of the incident.

"If it is confirmed that this attack was committed by someone who has been registered as an asylum seeker in the country, then it must lead to a fundamental reflection on the design of the whole refugee system," Mr Herrmann said on German radio.

Video shows immediate aftermath of Berlin lorry attack

Klaus Bouillon, Germany's interior minister told Saarland radio: "We must say that we are in a state of war, although some people who want to see only the good cannot see."

The identity of the alleged attacker was first revealed by German daily Die Welt, which said the attacker was born on 1 January 1993.

A man who said he knew Naved B told a reporter for The Guardian he is “just a normal guy”.

The information has not been confirmed by the police, who have yet to give details about the alleged offender.

A passenger in the lorry, thought to be the original driver, was found dead inside. According to the Brandenburg Ministry of the Interior, the Polish passenger was probably shot.

The Polish driver is a victim and not an offender, Minister of the Interior Karl-Heinz Schröter claimed.

The German interior ministry said Christmas markets should continue to stay open after the fatal attack.

Join our 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