The Corner

Berlin Update: ISIS Claims Responsibility, Suspect Still At Large

The news from Berlin is not good:

The German capital was on high alert Tuesday with one or more suspects still at large in the deadly truck assault on a Christmas market, even as the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an act that struck at the heart of Europe’s Christian traditions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel decried the assault — which left 12 dead and 52 injured after a truck carrying a payload of steel careened into festive stalls and fairgoers in Berlin — as a presumed “terror attack,” even as German police scrambled to find the culprit. The only suspect to date — a Pakistani asylum seeker taken into custody shortly after Monday’s bloodshed — was released by police late Tuesday because of insufficient evidence.

The death toll has increased since yesterday evening, and it seems a terrorist is still on the loose. We can’t yet know if ISIS’s claim of responsibility is credible, but if it is, then ISIS keeps succeeding (as I argued yesterday) in slowly introducing the Israeli reality to Western Europe — a world where terror exists not just as a result of planned operations but also of culturally and theologically-generated “spontaneous” acts.

It’s too easy to say that these acts are the fruit of mindless European multiculturalism. They’re mainly the bitter fruit of a strain of Islam that has existed since the faith’s founding — a strain that’s wrongly denied and minimized by Europe’s willfully blind multicultural leaders. Jihadist Islam cares not for their compassion. It exploits that compassion. It uses European leaders’ foolishness to victimize their own people. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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