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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

'Islamist' Iraqi refugee screaming 'Allahu Akbar' rams multiple vehicles on Berlin motorway before pulling over, threatening to set off a bomb and 'rolling out a prayer mat'

  • Six people hurt, three seriously, after car crashed into motorbike riders in Berlin
  • Samrad A, 30, refugee from Iraq, deliberately hit bikers before getting out of his car, shouting 'Allahu Akbar' and threatening to set off a bomb, investigators say
  • He is also though to have unrolled a prayer mat in the road before being arrested
  • Prosecutors say he has 'Islamist motivations', faces attempted murder charges
Six people have been injured, three of them severely, after a suspected Islamist terror attack on a motorway in Berlin overnight.
A 30-year-old Iraqi man, named by German media as Samrad A., is thought to have deliberately crashed into several motorbikes on the A100 motorway in the city's south, starting around 6.30pm on Tuesday.
After causing three separate accidents along a three-mile stretch of road, Samrad got out, shouted 'Allahu Akbar' unrolled a prayer mat in the middle of the road and began praying, witnesses said.  
He is also thought to have placed a box on top of the car, claiming it was a bomb, while shouting: 'Nobody come any closer or you will all die.' 
Six people have been injured, three of them seriously, after a car crashed into multiple motorbike and scooter riders on a Berlin motorway on Tuesday evening (scene of final crash)
Six people have been injured, three of them seriously, after a car crashed into multiple motorbike and scooter riders on a Berlin motorway on Tuesday evening (scene of final crash)
Driver, a 30-year-old Iraqi named locally as Samrad A (pictured), is thought to have shouted 'Allahu Akbar' before unrolling a prayer mat in the road and threatening to set off a bomb
Driver, a 30-year-old Iraqi named locally as Samrad A (pictured), is thought to have shouted 'Allahu Akbar' before unrolling a prayer mat in the road and threatening to set off a bomb
The victims are though to include three motorbike riders - one of them a fireman in critical condition - and three people in a car who were hit after a biker was rammed into them
The victims are though to include three motorbike riders - one of them a fireman in critical condition - and three people in a car who were hit after a biker was rammed into them 
Prosecutors say Samrad had 'Islamist motivations' and is expected to be charged with three counts of attempted murder (police inspect the scene of the final crash)
Prosecutors say Samrad had 'Islamist motivations' and is expected to be charged with three counts of attempted murder (police inspect the scene of the final crash) 
A passing traffic officer who is of Arabic descent manged to talk to Samrad, pull him away from the car and arrest him, Tagesspiegel reported. 
The paper reports that Samrad is a refugee who is living at a shelter in Berlin and was known to police due to past extremist behaviour and mental health issues.
In one incident he attacked officers before unrolling a prayer mat in echoes of Tuesday night's crashes.
In 2018 he was kicked out of a home where he was staying and charged with assault, and ended up in a mental health facility. He was released a short time later.
Police believe Samrad, who was born in Baghdad in 1990 before coming to Germany on an unknown date, may have been radicalised in the refugee shelter by a known extremist with ISIS sympathies. 
Samrad is now thought to be facing three counts of attempted murder.  
Among the victims is a firefighter who is in critical condition and may not survive his injuries, sources told German media.
Another two of the victims were riding motorbikes, while three people inside a car were hurt after one of the bikers was thrown into their vehicle. 
All of the crashes happened in the south west of Berlin, where motorways were still closed on Wednesday morning.
One motorcyclist was run over at Detmolder Strasse, at a junction with the A100 motorway, according to Bild. 
At least three crash scenes have been identified along a three-mile stretch of motorway located in the south west of Berlin
At least three crash scenes have been identified along a three-mile stretch of motorway located in the south west of Berlin
Large sections of motorway remained closed on Wednesday morning as police continued to investigate the crash sites - including with drones (pictured)
Large sections of motorway remained closed on Wednesday morning as police continued to investigate the crash sites - including with drones (pictured)
300 people were left stranded in their cars overnight after police closed the highways, and had to be supported by the Red Cross
300 people were left stranded in their cars overnight after police closed the highways, and had to be supported by the Red Cross
A scooter driver was then hit at Innsbrucker Platz, around a mile along the same motorway heading east, and had to be revived by paramedics. 
Two more motorbike riders were then struck at Alboinstrasse, another a mile along the same motorway.
The car used in the attacks was then pictured with a motorbike pinned under the front bumper at Alboinstrasse.
The incident led to long traffic jams Tuesday evening. 
Some 300 people were stuck on the highway for hours and were getting support from the German Red Cross, the Berlin fire department tweeted Tuesday night.
Forensic investigators take pictures of evidence at one of three crash sites on the A100 motorway, to the south of Berlin
Forensic investigators take pictures of evidence at one of three crash sites on the A100 motorway, to the south of Berlin
Motorists wait outside their cars after police shut motorways south of Berlin following the crashes on Tuesday evening
Motorists wait outside their cars after police shut motorways south of Berlin following the crashes on Tuesday evening
People with ties to Islamic extremism have committed several violent attacks in Germany in recent years.
The worst was a ramming attack at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12. The Tunisian attacker, a failed asylum seeker, was a supporter of ISIS.
More recently, an Islamist and his wife were convicted of planning a biological bomb attack in Germany in 2018 with the deadly poison ricin.
The pair had ordered castor seeds, explosives and metal ball bearings on the internet to build the toxic bomb.
The man was in March sentenced to 10 years in prison while his wife received an eight-year sentence in June.
Since 2013, the number of Islamists considered dangerous in Germany has increased fivefold to 680, according to security services.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has often been accused, particularly by the far right, of having contributed to the Islamist threat by opening the country's borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants in 2015.

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