ISIS Claims Responsibility For Berlin Terror Attack that Killed 12 and Injured Dozens

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A familiar and disconcerting pall hangs over Western Europe, the day after a lorry truck jumped the sidewalk and plowed through a Berlin Christmas Market, smashing wooden vendor stalls, and careening into holiday shoppers killing 12 and injuring 48.

The seven-ton long-haul truck, loaded with steel beams, was intentionally driven through the crowd. In the rush to uncover the possibility of additional plans, bombs, or other intended targets, a man was arrested fitting a general profile.

He has since been released. In the current state of terror, a general rule is accepted and agreed by leaders and citizens alike, it is better to err on the side of caution.

ISIS has claimed responsivity, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a staunch supporter of heavy military action and a strong foreign policy that works to ultimately degrade and destroy ISIS, is determined, as those she has stood with who have faced the same attacks on their nations to be merciless in retaliation and to find those responsible.

The only suspect in custody has been released for lack of evidence. German officials have initiated a massive manhunt warning the public the driver may be affiliated with the Islamic State and should be considered extremely dangerous.  

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"I'm shocked and very saddened by the events of last night. Twelve people that were amongst us yesterday, that were looking forward to Christmas and were looking forward to the Christmas season, are no longer with us. It's a terrible deed which we cannot understand.  Many people are fighting for their lives and in these hours think of these people, the dead, the injured and their families. We all hope for you and pray for you that you will find solace and comfort, that you will gain your health and continue to live after these terrible events," German Chancellor Merkel said.

 "The United States condemns in the strongest terms what appears to have been a terrorist attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin, which killed and wounded dozens.  We send our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of all.  We also extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Germany.  We have been in touch with German officials, and stand ready to provide assistance as needed.  Germany is one of our closest partners and strongest allies, and we stand together in the fight against all those who target our way of life and threaten our societies," The White House Spokesperson said.

ISIS has used this type of attack previously, during Bastille Day in the French coastal city of Nice, a lorry truck plowed its way along the promenade speeding up as it mowed through the crowds gathered to celebrate the French holiday.

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According to media sources, a dead man was lying in the front seat prior to the attack. He has not been identified although he is suspected to be the original driver of the truck leased to a polish transportation company. The dead man is polish and possibly the victim of a truck hi-jacking.

The truck is Polish based and officials have determined it left Poland Sunday for arrival in Berlin on Monday.

This is a developing story.

Image used with permission.

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