Germany probes car crashes on Berlin highway as deliberate attack

A 30-year-old Iraqi man arrested on charges of intentionally causing a series of car crashes, injuring six people.

Germany car crashes
Police officers probe the scene of a series of car crashes on highway A100 in Berlin [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

A series of crashes caused by a 30-year-old Iraqi man on a Berlin highway on Tuesday was thought to be religiously motivated, prosecutors told the German news agency DPA on Wednesday.

“According to what we currently know, it was an Islamist-motivated attack,” a spokesman for the public prosecutor said.

However, he also noted that there was evidence the suspect, who has been arrested on suspicion of several counts of attempted murder, suffers from mental health problems. 

He did not reveal the man’s identity, as is customary in Germany. 

Six people were injured, three of them severely, when the man allegedly drove into several vehicles, including a motorcycle, at three points along a stretch of the German capital’s highway on Tuesday evening.

The crashes led to a complete closure of one of Berlin’s main traffic arteries.

A box of tools

Local media reported that the man later stopped on the highway and put a box on the roof of his car, claiming it had explosives inside.

Specialists opened the box and found only tools. The man was arrested by police.

Several media outlets also reported that shouts the man uttered as he got out of his car suggested his actions could have been religiously motivated.

The incident led to long traffic jams on Tuesday evening. About 300 people stuck on the highway for hours were receiving support from the German Red Cross, the Berlin fire department tweeted on Tuesday night.

Source: News Agencies