Nearly four years ago, on December 19th 2016, an islamist terrorist attack killed 12 people and injured 48 others when a man drove a large truck into a crowd gathered outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church for a Christmas market in Berlin Germany. The truck's automatic brakes had brought the vehicle to a standstill after about 80 meters, preventing even more deaths. The suspect had reportedly escaped the scene initiating a manhunt for the suspect.
Initial reports stated that officers arrested a suspect near the scene who was suspected of driving the truck. Berlin police spokesman Winfried Wenzel told the paper that after the truck came to a stop, the suspect fled in the direction of Tiergarten park. A witness followed the suspect for over a mile and pointed him out to police, who arrested him near the Victory Column monument. The dpa press agency reported that the suspect used multiple names, making it difficult for authorities to confirm his actual identity. The suspect had initially been identified as Naved B. in a report which stated he had entere the country using a fake name. The suspect had come to Germany as a refugee from Pakistan just months prior to the attack. The suspect, Naved B. has denied involvement in the attack. Der Tagesspiegel reported that the suspect was known to police for multiple minor offenses prior to the attack but had not made the radar of anti-terror authorities. However, just one day after the attack, it was reported that the suspect Naved B. had been released from custody due to a lack of evidence linking him to the attack. Following his release, the German capital was placed on high alert as the actual perpetrator remained at large.
According to reports, the truck had been stolen from a worksite across the border in Poland. Police discovered a dead man, a Polish national, in the passenger seat of the truck following the attack. Investigators have stated that the man was shot to death.