On Monday afternoon in Breitscheidplatz, in western Berlin, a truck slammed into a Christmas market, injuring dozens of people and killing approximately nine. Police in Berlin believe it to be an intentional act, and the driver of the truck fled the scene. Horrified by the day's events, some people on Twitter are examining the Berlin truck's license plate.
Update: The truck driver has been arrested, Al Jazeera reports.
While some observers are noting that the license plate appears as though it could be Polish, others believe that the license plate can tell us nothing about the attack or his/her motives.
Back in November, the State Department issued a warning about the raised terror threat at Christmas markets in some areas of Europe:
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets. This Travel Alert expires on February 20, 2017.
Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da'esh), al-Qa'ida, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events. U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning. Terrorists may employ a wide variety of tactics, using both conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.
While extremists have carried out attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey in the past year, the Department remains concerned about the potential for attacks throughout Europe. If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages.
Little is known about the incident, which has not been classified as an act of terrorism.
The driver of the truck remains on the run as the death toll from the incident climbs.
More to come...