An alleged Islamist terrorist who injured six people in Berlin by colliding with bikers posted a picture of himself online with the car used in the attack a few hours earlier.
Sarmad A, 30, uploaded the picture to Facebook on Tuesday along with a message talking about Palestine, "Allahu Akbar" – God is great – written in Arabic and used the word for "martyr".
Two hours later the same car was used to hit three bikers along the A100 Autobahn in Berlin, two of whom were seriously injured and a third in critical condition.
Three other people were lightly injured after one of the motorcycles crashed into a car they were driving.
After a bicycle got stuck under his car, Sarmad reportedly got out, shouted "Allahu Akbar" and then rolled out a prayer mat in the middle of the street.
Sarmad A, a 30-year-old Iraqi refugee, posted this picture of himself on Facebook next to a car that was later used in a terrorist attack on Berlin – in which he spoke of being a "martyr".
Sarmad is accused of deliberately mowing three bikers along a Berlin autobahn, one of whom is in critical condition
Sarmad reportedly called "Allahu Akbar" after getting out of the car and then threatened to detonate a bomb before he was arrested (pictured)
Sarmad is reported to have claimed the bomb was in an old ammunition box (pictured on the roof of the car) that later turned out to be a tool kit
He is also believed to have placed an old ammunition box on the car and claimed it was a bomb while shouting, "Nobody comes near or you will all die."
A passing traffic officer of Arab descent wanted to speak to Sarmad, pull him away from the car and arrest him, reported Tagesspiegel.
Prosecutors say he "looked for motorcycles" and crashed into two of them and a scooter driver.
Sarmad is considered a refugee who lives in a Berlin animal shelter and was known to the police in the past due to extremist behavior and psychological problems.
In one incident, he attacked officers before unrolling a prayer mat based on the accidents on Tuesday evening.
In 2018, he was kicked out of a house he was staying in and charged with assault. He ended up in a mental health facility. He was released a short time later.
Police believe that Sarmad, who was born in Baghdad in 1990 before coming to Germany at an unknown date, may have been radicalized in the refugee home by a well-known extremist with ISIS sympathies.
Sarmad also appeared alongside South Korean leader Ban Ki Moon in a picture from his Facebook page
The victims include a firefighter riding a bike home from work and three passengers in a second car who were injured when a bike was thrown into them
Prosecutors say Sarmad had “Islamist motives” and is likely to face three charges of attempted murder (police are inspecting the site of the final crash).
A forensic scientist examines the trunk of the black Opel Astra that was used in the attack
"The fact that the suspect may suffer from mental health problems does not make this problem any easier," said Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel.
"When personal problems mix with religiously charged ideas, it can lead to uncontrollable actions. The events of yesterday showed in a very painful way how vulnerable our society is."
It is now believed that Sarmad has faced three attempted murders.
Among the victims is a firefighter who is in critical condition and may not survive his injuries, sources told German media.
Another two of the victims rode motorcycles, while three people were injured in a car after one of the bikers was thrown into their vehicle.
All of the accidents occurred in southwest Berlin, where the autobahns were still closed on Wednesday morning.
According to the picture in Detmolder Strasse, a motorcyclist was run over at an intersection with the A100 motorway.
At least three crash scenes have been identified on a three-mile stretch of motorway in southwest Berlin
Large parts of the highway remained closed on Wednesday morning when the police continued to investigate the crash sites – also with drones (picture)
300 people were stranded in their cars overnight after police blocked the highways and had to be assisted by the Red Cross
A scooter driver was then hit at Innsbrucker Platz, about a mile east of the same highway, and had to be resuscitated by paramedics.
Two more motorcyclists were then met on Alboinstrasse, another a mile along the same highway.
The car used in the attacks was then pictured with a motorcycle attached to the front bumper in Alboin Street.
The incident resulted in long traffic jams on Tuesday evening.
Around 300 people were stuck on the motorway for hours and were supported by the German Red Cross, the Berlin fire brigade tweeted on Tuesday evening.
They were taken from their cars after Sarmad was arrested.
Forensic investigators photograph evidence at one of the three crash sites on the A100 motorway south of Berlin
Markings on the freeway show where evidence was at one of the crash sites
Motorists wait in front of their cars after the police blocked the autobahns south of Berlin after the accidents on Tuesday evening
People with connections to Islamic extremism have carried out several violent attacks in Germany in recent years.
The worst was a ramming attack on a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016, in which 12 people were killed. The Tunisian attacker, a failed asylum seeker, was a supporter of IS.
More recently, an Islamist and his wife were convicted of planning a biological bomb attack in Germany in 2018 using the deadly poison ricin.
The couple had ordered castor seeds, explosives and metal ball bearings online to build the toxic bomb.
The man was sentenced to 10 years in prison in March, while his wife was sentenced to eight years in prison in June.
According to security services, the number of Islamists classified as dangerous in Germany has quintupled to 680 since 2013.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has often been accused, especially by the far right, of contributing to the Islamist threat by opening the country's borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants in 2015.
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