Truck Drives Into Berlin Christmas Market Killing Nine

National Security

​Flickr Photo by Sascha Kohlmann

Berlin Christmas Market Attacker Killed in Shootout
 


UPDATE:

Anis Amri, the suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack was killed early Friday  morning by Italian authorities in Milan. When Amri was asked for identification, he pulled a gun out of his backpack and fired on police, injuring one officer. Italian police retured fire, killing Amri.


​A truck driver drove into a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing nine people and injuring others in what German authorities say they believe was an attack.

Police arrested a suspicious person near the market, but did not know if this individual was the driver, according to the Berlin Police Department’s official Twitter feed.​ A passenger in the truck died at the scene.

​“Currently, there are no indications of further dangerous situations in the city near Breitscheidpltaz,” the department said.

The incident occurred on Monday evening when a truck jumped the sidewalk and drove into a crowd around wooden stands at the Christmas market set up around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, The Guardian reports.

A Polish freight company owns the truck, which is registered in Gdansk, and left Poland Monday afternoon for Berlin. The company, however, lost touch with the driver around 4 p.m. local time. 

Facebook has activated its Safety Check​ feature to allow individuals in Berlin to mark themselves as safe. Local police are also asking individuals not to spread videos of the crash scene to protect the privacy of the victims.

​The U.S. State Department cautioned U.S. citizens abroad in November about the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, especially during the holiday season. 

“U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.,” said the travel alert, which expires on February 20, 2017. 

The alert was based on “credible information” that indicated the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, al Qaeda, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the holiday season and associated events.

“U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning,” the alert said. “Terrorists may employ a wide variety of tactics, using both conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.” 

This is a developing story. Security Management will continue to update this post as more information is confirmed.​​