Germany Releases Man Arrested in Berlin Attack
And the Islamic State takes credit
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2016 12:55 PM CST
German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the Christmas market in Berlin Tuesday.   (Maurizio Gambarini/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – Police in Germany on Tuesday began raising doubts about whether a man in custody after Monday's truck attack in Berlin had anything to do with it. Now, that man, a Pakistani national, has been released over a lack of evidence, reports the AP. Prosecutors say no physical evidence places him in the truck, and no witnesses have come forward. "The investigation up until now did not yield any urgent suspicion against the accused," says the prosecutor's office, per Reuters. Police urged residents to remain vigilant in the wake of the attack that killed 12 and set up a hotline for tips. "We may still have a dangerous criminal out there," said the Berlin police chief.

After the man's release, news broke that the Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack. The Islamic State group's Amaq news agency said in a statement Tuesday that "the person who carried out the truck run over attack in Berlin is a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the attack in response to calls for targeting citizens of the Crusader coalition." The AP reports Germany is not involved in anti-IS combat operations. But it does have Tornado jets and a refueling plane stationed in Turkey in support of the coalition fighting militants in Syria, as well as a frigate protecting a French aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.

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