'If a Car Targets Motorcycles, They Don't Have a Chance'

One person is in life-threatening condition after what's being called a terror attack in Berlin
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 19, 2020 8:27 AM CDT
'If a Car Targets Motorcycles, They Don't Have a Chance'
A car and a motorcycle stand on the city motorway A100 after an accident in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. The city's highway was still shut down after a series of traffic accidents that were allegedly all caused by one man.   (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)

An Iraqi-born man deliberately drove his car into motorcycles along a stretch of Berlin highway, leaving at least one person in life-threatening condition in what German officials said Wednesday was a terror attack. "According to the current state of our investigation we assume this was an Islamist-motivated attack,” Berlin's senator for the interior, Andreas Geisel, said. The crashes at three different locations happened during rush hour on the BAB100 highway shortly before 7pm local time and led to a complete closure of one of the main traffic arteries of Berlin. The 30-year-old suspect first hit a car on the highway in the Wilmersdorf neighborhood, then drove into a motorcyclist, leaving him behind with life-threatening injuries. He hit a second person on a motor scooter, and eventually used his car to push a third motorcyclist into the front of another car, prosecutor Martin Steltner said.

“If a car intentionally targets motorcycles, they don't have a chance,” Geisel said, per the AP. Dpa reported that the suspect, who is thought to have mental health issues, allegedly made reference to his plans on Facebook before the attack. He stopped on the highway after the third crash; several media outlets reported that the man shouted “allahu akbar” or “God is great” as he got out of his car. The Bild daily reported that he also shouted: “Nobody gets closer, or you will all die.” The suspect then rolled out a prayer carpet and started praying, daily paper Tagesspiegel reported. A police officer then approached the man, talked to him in Arabic, pulled him away from the car and detained him. Investigators did not reveal the man's identity, as is customary in Germany, but local media identified the suspect as Sarmad D.

(More Berlin stories.)

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