December 20th, 2016

Update on the Berlin terrorist attack

The 23-year-old Pakistini recent asylum seeker who is in police custody as a suspect in the Christmas market attack may not be the right man. Police aren’t saying exactly why they think he isn’t the perp, except that he’s denying that he is, which wouldn’t be enough. My guess is that there are multiple reasons they think they made an error.

Here’s something that caught my eye:

Obama offered condolences for the “horrific apparent terrorist attack,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Apparent? With a dead Polish driver in the car, the terrorist driver fled, and the obviousness of the motive, that’s being ridiculously careful on Obama’s part. At least the word “terrorist” is in there, which is progress for Obama.

And now we learn that the suspect has been released:

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that that the man, a Pakistani citizen who came to Germany last year as an asylum-seeker, denied involvement in the attack that killed 12 people and injured nearly 50 others.

They noted that witnesses were able to follow the truck’s driver from the scene but lost track of him. The man arrested matched witness descriptions of the truck driver, but investigators haven’t been able to prove that he was in the truck’s cab at the time of the attack.

Under German law, prosecutors have until the end of the calendar day following an arrest to seek a formal arrest warrant keeping a suspect in custody.

Let us hope that this really is the wrong man. Or that they are tracking him within an inch of his life. Because otherwise it just points out the folly of dealing with terrorism as though it were an ordinary law enforcement issue.

Here is more information about the Polish driver Luckasz Urban and about the hijacking:

“It was really clear that he was fighting for his life. His face was swollen and bloodied. Police informed me that he had suffered gunshot wounds. Despite being stabbed he was shot dead,” Zurawski told Polish media.

Poland’s prime minister, Beata Szydlo, said that the Pole was “the first victim of this heinous act of violence.” Berlin police also said in a tweet that the man who was found dead in the truck did not control the truck that drove to the Christmas market.

Zurawski said Urban arrived with a delivery of steel at a branch of the Thyssenkrupp company in Berlin on Monday at 7 a.m. but was told to wait with his delivery until 8 a.m. the following day.

On Tuesday, Zurawski showed reporters a photo on his phone of his cousin in a kebab bar around 2 p.m., the last photo known of him still alive.

Berlin police chief Klaus Kandt said authorities have the “exact movement of the truck” from GPS but they are not giving details out and that it was only after the attack that the truck’s owner got in touch.

Zurawski said that Urban, who is survived by a wife and teenage son, last had contact with his wife at 3 p.m. local time, but that she couldn’t talk then because she was at work. She said she would call at 4 p.m., but at that point he was no longer answering his phone.

Zurawski described unusual movements on the truck’s GPS at 3:45 p.m. that indicate Urban was not in control.

“The car was started up, turned off, driven forward, then backward. As if somebody inside was learning how to drive,” Zurawski said in a separate interview broadcast on TVP Info, the state broadcaster’s all-news network.

There was no more movement until 7.40 p.m., when the truck started and traveled some 10 kilometers (six miles), sometimes turning in tight spots or crossing the double line, and arrived at the Christmas market, Zurawski said.

RIP to all the victims.

[NOTE: I wonder why the market wasn’t closed to vehicular traffic. Or did the truck just drive past or through barriers? If so, the barriers were clearly inadequate.]

15 Responses to “Update on the Berlin terrorist attack”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Islamism is metastacizing across western europe. Unless the majority face that reality, demographic birth rates alone, spell its doom.

  2. blert Says:

    GB… dittos.

    The Muslims must be ejected.

    The migrant cohort is as large as the native German male population of that same age.

    !!!!

    The Swedes have found a ‘solution.’ They’re parking new entrants up at the Arctic circle. You read that right. And in tents.

  3. parker Says:

    It is not complicated. Islam, and its followers, are the problem. Yes, there are many muslims who have no desire to become murderous jihadists. But those muslims do not banish the murderous adherents. They stay silent for the most part.

    In the 1940s we did not differentiate between good Germans and Japanese, and the ‘bad ones’. All were enemies and we bombed them without mercy, we killed them without mercy or equivocation. That is the only path to victory. Until the West embraces this simple truth, the forces of islam will prevail on the battlefield. The battlefield is your home turf, right up to your front door.

  4. expat Says:

    Neo,
    I read somewere that police and intelligence people did want more protection of the Christmas markets.I don’t know any details, but I wonder wether we have a Bush/Katrina situation in which the Berlin mayor rejected extra security.

    Parker,
    Especially in Germany where many of the Muslims are Turks who grew up under Attaturk’s secularized rule, I suspect that many Turks are working with police and Intelligence to monitor terrorist threats and identify radicals. The government would not want to expose them. Also, there are other Turks who have written books about the unassimilated and have worked with the government to try to solve this problem. I recall that years ago there were people from a mosque in the Midwest (I think) who alerted our government to radicals who were trying to take over their mosque. Nothing was done.
    I get a little frustrated at some people who have latched on to Merkel as the cause of all the problems in Europe. It is very simplistic. I blame even more the multi-culti types who don’t even ask Mexican immigrants to learn Engish. The minute anyone sensible tries to stand up for America, they become some sort of phobes.

  5. Jim Doherty Says:

    We all should remember that Polish truck driver, from the reports I heard, it seems he did not die easy. Stabbed and shot and face swollen from a beating etc. The guy did his best, and he was the only real defense these folks had. He didnt win, but gave as best he could with bare hands. God Bless him and his family.

  6. Jim Doherty Says:

    oh crap, your post had the info I saw yesterday about the drivers condition, sorry I didn’t read it all.

  7. Frog Says:

    Let us not forget that Angela Merkel grew up in communist East Germany. It is hard for me to accept that the communism of her programmable years had no impact on her.

    Her “acceptance”, nay, encouragement, of the entry of the horde of >800,000 Muslim so-called refugees is clearly the triumph of Statism suborning the good of the German people. That was obvious from the start.

    That she is the leader of the CDU is a sick travesty. CDU being the Christian Democratic Union (party). There is to my eyes nothing Christian about her. But in that she is not alone in Germany, the former land of Luther and the Lutheran Church, the church of pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whom the Nazis executed in the closing days of the war. Christianity has atrophied into nothingness in Germany.

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    First of all—as I discussed in this post, “Christian duty” to offer a safe harbor (at least in the eyes of many people, and many church leaders) is definitely part of what dictated Europe’s immigration policy.

    As for Merkel herself, if you actually study her history rather than speculating on it, you will see that religion was highly important in her family and upbringing and that there is evidence that it may have somewhat subdued the influence of the leftist environment around her. See this:

    Religion played a key role in the Kasner family’s migration from West Germany to East Germany. Her father was born a Catholic, but the Kasner family eventually converted to Lutheranism, and he studied Lutheran theology in Heidelberg and afterwards in Hamburg. In 1954, Angela’s father received a pastorate at the church in Quitzow (a quarter of Perleberg in Brandenburg), which was then in East Germany, and so the family moved to Templin. Merkel thus grew up in the countryside 80 km (50 mi) north of East Berlin.

    Like most young people in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Merkel was a member of the Free German Youth (FDJ), the official youth movement sponsored by the ruling Socialist Unity Party. Membership was nominally voluntary, but those who did not join found it difficult to gain admission to higher education.[citation needed] She did not participate in the secular coming of age ceremony Jugendweihe, however, which was common in East Germany. Instead, she was confirmed. Later, at the Academy of Sciences, she became a member of the FDJ district board and secretary for “Agitprop” (Agitation and Propaganda). Merkel claimed that she was secretary for culture. When Merkel’s one-time FDJ district chairman contradicted her, she insisted that: “According to my memory, I was secretary for culture. But what do I know? I believe I won’t know anything when I’m 80.” Merkel’s progress in the compulsory Marxism–Leninism course was graded only genügend (sufficient, passing grade) in 1983 and 1986…

    In 1989, Merkel got involved in the growing democracy movement after the fall of the Berlin Wall, joining the new party Democratic Awakening. Following the first (and only) multi-party election of the East German state, she became the deputy spokesperson of the new pre-unification caretaker government under Lothar de Maizière. In April 1990, the Democratic Awakening merged with the East German CDU, which in turn merged with its western counterpart after reunification.

    Now, it may be that Merkel has left her religious upbringing behind. It may be that she was always more sympathetic to leftism than that upbringing indicates. It may be a lot of things, but we don’t know. However, her upbringing certainly indicates a strong religious underpinning to her life.

    Here’s an article that tries to trace the influence of religion in her policies towards immigration.

  9. Frog Says:

    Neo, Christianity is not a suicide pact. Christian duty is an individual act or acts, not the cloak for secularists to hide themselves in and cause grave collective suffering to their fellows.
    The Muslim assault on Europe was indeed an assault, an invasion, by mostly young men who were well-garbed and held cell phones. These were refugees in name only.

    As to Merkel in Wiki, who wrote that? Why do we deem Wiki as less than 100% reliable?

    And, as the Wiki piece says, “Religion played a key role in the Kasner family’s migration from West Germany to East Germany.” Migration into East Germany? In 1954, nine years after that became Sovietized? Because of religion? Yeah, sure.
    I had distant relatives in what became East Germany. Their properties were seized by the State in the late 1940s, and they most assuredly could not leave, decades before the Berlin wall. My parents sent them “care” packages regularly.
    Merkel’s family moved there voluntarily, as religionists into an atheistic State, and that does not raise your eyebrows, Neo? Does not give you concern there is more to the Angela story than she and her obsequious defenders let on?

  10. OM Says:

    expat:

    Thanks again for some ground truth. Too many think they know alot from thousands of miles away.

    Oh the sins of the parents? The Bible says some things about that Frog.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    Sometimes I wonder whether you read the links I provide. Of course Christianity is not a suicide pact. That was the point of my post that I linked in my previous comment to you on this thread.

    However, as was also discussed in that post I linked, many Christians use it to justify an open-door immigration policy. It is not (in my opinion, as I write about in the post) required by Christianity at all, but many Christians seem to think it is. Therefore, whatever YOU may think about Christianity not being a suicide pact (an idea where I obviously agree with you), THEY don’t see Christianity that same way.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    Oh, and also—Wiki is usually not a bad source at all, and it’s a convenient one. What’s more, if you go there, it often cites its own sources, which are often readily available online. And since Google is your friend—as I’ve often said—all you have to do is Google to get reams of information about Merkle’s family and early years.

    For example, this. If you’re really interested in learning something about Merkel and her family, their motives and what happened to them, read it.

    And if you find some fact in Wiki that is untrue, all you have to do is refute it by explaining what’s wrong, what the truth is, and give a source for your claims.

    Otherwise, criticizing something just because it comes from Wiki is absurd.

    And by the way, I am no apologist or defender of Merkel’s policies on immigration. I have been deeply critical of them from the start. That has nothing to do with whether she is religious or not, or what her interpretation of Christianity might be.

  13. expat Says:

    There are certainly times when I wish Merkel would take a tougher stand on thing, but she is one who like to work quietly to prevent the lefties from getting even more. Her priorities have been keeping Putin in check WRT the Baltics and other former Soviet block countries, keeping Turkey out of the EU in a way that doesn’t offend assimilated Turks who live here while finding ways to assimilate those who live in enclaves, and trying to find a way to keep the environmentist and LGBT types from getting even crazier. She is herding a nation of cats.

  14. Frog Says:

    Thanks, neo, but you have not addessed the Merkel facts I posted. Just ignore them. As expat says, she works hard at not giving the lefties even more, which i understand means she’s giving more, just not “even more”.’If she’s the best Krautland can offer, Germany is doomed over time.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    What facts are you talking about that you think I need to “address” and have ignored? I don’t defend Merkel’s immigration policies at all, and never have. I also think in many ways she is somewhat to the left (and quite far to the left on immigration), as are many European usually thought of (in Europe, that is) as being on the right.

    My argument with you in this thread is quite limited: whether Wiki is sometimes a good source of material, and whether their information on Merkel’s family’s reasons for going to East Germany (and her upbringing there) are correct. That bears on my main point, which is that there is no reason to suspect that Merkel is not a Christian.

    In my comment to you at 5:30 PM I introduced a link to a Bloomberg article that contained a lot more information and explanation about Merkel’s early life, some of which you should have recognized as being relevant to your expressed concerns. So they certainly were not “ignored” (I really don’t know what you were getting at by that accusation).

    If you read that Bloomberg link that I gave you in my 5:30 PM comment (and I have no idea whether you did, since you don’t mention it or a single fact in it), you would have read these passages which help to explain why her family went to East Germany [emphasis mine]:

    Her father Horst Kasner, son of a Berlin police officer, had finished studying theology and was needed by the church. Bucking the exodus of East Germans fleeing to West Germany’s reviving economy, he and his wife put their infant first-born into a basket and headed the other way. The first stop was a parish house in Quitzow, a farming village outside a former Prussian garrison town only 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the intra-German border. Merkel said her father always intended to return to his native eastern Germany after studying in the western cities of Heidelberg and Hamburg. Merkel’s mother, Herlind, an English teacher who had grown up and met her husband in Hamburg, went along “out of love.”

    Suspect to the regime because the family wasn’t part of the “workers’ class,” the pastor’s wife was barred from teaching, so she became a stay-at-home mother. In 1957, the family moved to Templin, a market town of fewer than 20,000 inhabitants some 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Berlin, where church authorities asked Horst Kasner to set up a theological seminary

    Politics were never far below the surface in the seminary her father led at Waldhof, where young trainee pastors came and went, exchanging ideas. Church faith ran counter to the state’s communist ideology, and the Stasi secret police infiltrated congregations and church groups as they did every other aspect of life in the GDR. Yet there was also a recognition of the welfare work the church performed in places such as Waldhof. By remaining deliberately open in the certainty that everything was being monitored, the church became the one sphere of East German life where alternative viewpoints could be expressed, a counterweight to the regime rather than a rival power base.

    Also during those years, Angela Merkel made a crucial decision to turn down the Stasi. While finishing her studies at the end of the 1970s, she applied for an assistant professor’s post at an engineering school. Stasi officers demanded she sign up to inform on her co-workers to get the job. She says she refused, feeding the recruiters a line suggested by her parents: she wouldn’t make a good spy because she couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Turning down the feared secret police ended Merkel’s bid for the professorship; the regime wouldn’t let a person it considered ideologically suspect teach students…

    While Merkel wasn’t a dissident, she rebelled against her father’s political views. Initially critical of the East German regime, Horst Kasner increasingly reached an accommodation with East Germany’s rulers – for the sake of the church and, perhaps, his family. Merkel says her father, who died in 2011, was captivated by the ideas of “socialism with a human face” – the slogan associated with the Prague Spring reforms that ended with a Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 – and “liberation theology,” the Roman Catholic movement for social justice in Latin America.

    Those political directions were anathema to Merkel, who says she had concluded that East Germany was stifling and dysfunctional. Her father had a “milder” view of the communist state…

    In other words—Merkel’s father went east in order to maintain a church presence in the Communist state, so religion DID “play a key role” in his move. Politically, he was originally somewhat to the left and became more so as time went on. You know, religion and leftism are hardly mutually exclusive. Merkel herself, however, was significantly to the right of him. She was also raised with a strong faith which she still professes to have. Why would you question her father’s religious motivation, or her own faith for that matter? Many Christians (including the present Pope) are leftists and/or supporters of open-door immigration from Muslim countries. The two stances are not at all incompatible, although you were indicating they are—which was the cause of my original disagreement with you.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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