ISIS claims responsibility for Christmas market attack in Germany

As I noted earlier, the attacker who drove a truck through a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, Germany is still on the loose. But Tuesday ISIS claimed the unknown attacker was one of their soldiers, which may just mean that he was inspired by their call for attacks on western targets. From the Associated Press:

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Tuesday for a truck attack on a crowded Berlin Christmas market that left 12 people dead and nearly 50 injured, as German security forces hunted for the perpetrator after releasing a man from custody for lack of evidence.

IS said in a statement from its Amaq news agency that the attacker “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 claim of responsibility came not long after German prosecutors said they’d released a man picked up on Monday night near the scene of the attack, initially suspected of driving the truck.

NY Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi says the language used in the ISIS press release is now boilerplate for any attack it inspires:

Meanwhile the Berlin police say they have taken over 500 tips about the attack:

One witness to the attack says she held the hand of a man who was laying on the ground with a head injury. “I couldn’t understand what the man on the floor was saying, he was trying to get up but his head injury was severe, Sarah Dobler told the BBC. “I held his hand, and told him everything was going to be okay – it was as if we were in a horror film,” she added.

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