There’s been a bad rash of high-profile violence throughout the world this week. Recently I wrote about the shocking assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey by a disgruntled police officer who was upset about the situation in Syria, most specifically the city of Aleppo. There had been concerns that the death of Ambassador Karlov would spark some new conflict even as Turkey and Russia hold together a momentary truce that saw a massive evacuation of Syrian insurgents and residents of eastern Aleppo from their ruined homes. But at roughly the same time an incident over in Europe adds a new wrinkle to the overall global situation, by how it calls to mind bad memories from this year alone.
CNN reports that the notorious and currently under-fire terror organization ISIS has made public claims that it has “inspired” the perpetrator who on Monday December 19 rammed a heavy truck into a Christmas night market in Berlin, resulting in 12 people dead and 48 injured. This grisly act recalls the Nice Bastille Day attack back in July 16, which claimed the lives of 86 victims who were run over. Even more recently, 11 bystanders were also wounded at Ohio State University by a car and knife attack done by legal US resident Abdul Razak Ali Artan in late November.
As of this writing, the initial suspect held by Berlin police after the incident has been let go due to lack of evidence to hold him. It’s now believed by Federal Court of Justice general prosecutor Peter Frank that the attack was carried out by multiple suspects, all of whom are currently feared to be at large. The hypothesis put forth by police was that the attackers hijacked the truck and killed its Polish driver, whose corpse was found inside the vehicle dead of a gunshot wound to the head, and whose other injuries hint that he had vainly tried to fight off his murderers, according to the truck’s company owner Ariel Zurawski, who knew the driver well and was tapped by investigators to identify the body.
ISIS immediately claimed on its Amaq propaganda news website that whoever was responsible for the truck rampage was inspired by their group’s actions, describing the suspect as a “soldier of the Islamic State” following the network’s general directive of launching attacks at civilian populations of all countries fighting ISIS. However, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruikshank is skeptical of this pronouncement, opining that the terror group has a propensity to label any violent action done against civilians in the world, especially by Muslim hands, to have been spurred by their calls to violence.
Regardless of this claim, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already labeled the incident as a terror attack. Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate was lit up in the colors of the German flag in tribute to the victims.
Photo Credit to http://www.abc.net.au/