Suspect in Berlin highway attack moved to psychiatric jail

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From Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities on Wednesday ordered a 30-year-old man accused of deliberately driving his car into other vehicles along a major Berlin highway and injuring six people moved to a psychiatric jail, as investigators continue to probe the man’s motives.

Officials said the Iraq-born man appeared to have carried out a deliberate attack late Tuesday motivated by Islamist ideology, but noted that he had been suffering from psychological problems.

“According to the current state of our investigation, we assume this was an Islamist-motivated attack,” Berlin’s senator for the interior, Andreas Geisel, said. “A religiously motivated background cannot be excluded.”

Investigators did not reveal the man’s identity, as is customary in Germany, but local media identified the suspect as Sarmad D. He is under investigation for three cases of attempted murder.

There were also indications the man had mental health issues, Geisel said.

“The fact that the suspect was possibly suffering from psychological problems does not make this issue any easier,” Geisel said. “If personal problems mix with religiously loaded ideas, this can lead to uncontrollable acts — yesterday’s events have shown in a very painful way how vulnerable our society is.”

His office later issued a statement saying the suspect had been moved to the closed psychiatric unit of a jail.

 

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