LONDON -- A man has been charged with attempted murder following a series of car crashes on a German motorway which authorities believe had a potentially Islamist motive, Berlin’s public prosecutor said on Wednesday.
Six people were injured, three of whom are in serious condition, and are currently hospitalized, following the crashes on an inner city highway in Berlin on Tuesday evening. The Berlin police force said that the attacker appeared to be targeting motorcyclists.
The suspect, who has not yet been named, will appear before a judge today.
Witnesses reported that the car deliberately rammed other cars, two motorcycles and a scooter. Up to 300 people were affected by long traffic jams, with the highway closed down in the aftermath of the incident.
“Statements by the accused after his actions suggest a religious-Islamist motivation,” they said in a statement. “There is also evidence of psychological instability.”
After the crashes, the suspect placed an old ammunition box on the roof of his car and seemed to indicate that it contained an explosive device, police said. The authorities found no explosives in the box and arrested the suspect soon after.
There is so far no evidence that the man, who local media report to be a 30-year-old Iraqi migrant, has any direct links to a terrorist group.
The highway was closed for several hours after the car crashes, Berlin’s fire department said.
The prosecutor’s office is set to update the public on the state of the investigation in a press conference this afternoon.