Berlin security services: Highway attacker wasn’t on radar

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities said Thursday that a 30-year-old man accused of deliberately driving his car into other vehicles along a major Berlin highway wasn’t previously on the security services’ radar.

The Iraqi citizen crashed into a car, two motorcycles and a motor scooter on Tuesday night. Six people were injured, three of them severely. He was charged with at least three counts of attempted murder and moved to a psychiatric jail Wednesday night.

“He was not on the radar,” a spokesman for Berlin’s senate of the interior said, the German news agency dpa reported. While intelligence services in the German capital weren’t aware of the man, he was known to police for assault and resisting officers.

Berlin prosecutors said Wednesday that the suspect, who was born in Baghdad in 1990 and came to Germany as an asylum-seeker several years ago, may have been motivated by Islamist ideology. Authorities said there are also indications that the man is suffering from psychological problems and that “a religiously motivated background cannot be excluded.”

Authorities said that one of the three severely injured persons, a Berlin firefighter, was still in intensive care Thursday.

“His condition is serious,” a fire department spokesman told the dpa. “We are with him in our thoughts and hope for the best.”

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