Nine people in the German city of Limburg were injured on Monday when a hijacked truck crashed into a row of cars stopped at a red light. According to reports in the German media, a 32-year-old Syrian national named as Omar AI pulled the driver of the vehicle from his cabin at a red light before using the lorry to plough into eight cars waiting at a light near the town’s central railway station at about 5.20pm on Monday.
The truck’s hijacker, who was among the injured, was arrested at the scene. Der Spiegel reports that Al arrived in Germany from Syria in 2015 and that his residence permit expired on October 1. The paper also reports that he was known to the police for acts of violence, drug possession and shoplifting.
Several of the victims are currently being treated in hospital with light injuries.
Speaking to the newspaper Frankfurter Neue Presse, the truck driver said that he was at a red traffic light waiting to turn left towards the highway, when somebody suddenly opened the cabin door and dragged him out of the vehicle without saying a word. According to the same newspaper, several people who tended to the man who stole the truck allegedly heard him say “Allah” several times, leading to widespread reports that it was being investigated as a terrorist incident.
However, a spokesperson for the general public prosecutor in Frankfurt said they could not confirm a terrorist motive and were still investigating the case. Currently, the suspect is accused of attempted murder, dangerous bodily harm and dangerous road traffic.
Germany has been on alert following several jihadi attacks in recent years claimed by Islamic State. The deadliest attack was committed in 2016 by a 23-year-old Tunisian, who killed 12 people when he stole a truck and ploughed it through a Berlin Christmas market.