Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Responsibility for Christmas market killings not yet confirmed but use of heavy vehicle on traditional event follows Isis line

Just as the Christmas market is a cherished fixture of the German national calendar, so too the Bastille Day fireworks are a particularly special occasion for an attack. Both are the kind of “soft target” highlighted in November by the US state department, which advised tourists in Europe to “exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets” for fear terrorists would use “both conventional and non-conventional weapons” to wreak havoc over the Christmas period.
 In both Nice and Berlin the “non-conventional weapon” was a lorry driven into a crowd of people.
In recent weeks there have been increasing signs that Isis, as it loses ground in Iraq and comes under increased military pressure in Syria, is seeking to strike back by inviting aspiring jihadis in the west to carry out attacks with heavy vehicles. Intelligence agencies across Europe repeatedly caution that it is extremely difficult to anticipate these individual attacks.


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