German Police Find ISIS Flag After Suspected Attack on Railway

December 25, 2018 Updated: December 25, 2018

BERLIN—German police said they found a flag of the ISIS terror group near the site of a suspected attack on a railway track in Berlin and that investigators were examining whether the perpetrators had any political motives.

It’s still unclear whether the flag and a text in Arabic found near the railway track were left by the same person or people who damaged the overhead contact wire, police said on Dec. 25.

“Since the beginning of the investigation, several pieces of evidence have been secured,” police said, adding that authorities discovered a torn steel cable and the damaged overhead contact wire at the train track on Dec. 23.

Train operator Deutsche Bahn informed federal police about the incident, which temporarily interrupted local train service, police said.

It remains unclear if there is any connection between the Berlin investigation and a similar case in Bavaria, where unknown suspects tried to damage or even derail a high-speed train with a steel cable in October.

Terror Attacks in Germany

While Germany has weathered several terror attacks carried out by radical Islamists in recent years, the country so far has avoided an incident on the scale of the November 2015 ISIS assaults in Paris, which left 130 people dead.

The bloodiest ISIS-linked attack in Germany took place in December 2016, outside Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, in which a truck plowed into a crowd of shoppers, killing 12 and injuring 56 others. The suspect, a failed Tunisian asylum-seeker, was killed in a shootout with police in Italy days after the attack, following a Europe-wide manhunt.

terror suspect shot dead in Milan
The Tunisian man suspected of carrying out the deadly Berlin truck attack at the Christmas market was shot dead by police in Milan, Italy, on Dec. 23, 2016. (Daniele Bennati/AFP/Getty Images)

In October, a 55-year-old Syrian refugee carried out an arson attack and hostage-taking at Cologne’s railway station, in an incident that left a 14-year-old girl with burns, and authorities indicating a terror motive.