ISIS Claims Responsibility For Berlin Attack; Terror Victim Families Sue Social Media


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The Time

After a truck slammed into a crowd of Christmas revelers in a Berlin market, 12 have died, 48 have been wounded and the only suspect was released from custody. German officials say they have no substantial evidence to keep the detainee, a young Pakistani asylum-seeker, behind bars. No other arrests have been made. The man denied his involvement and police admitted they were not certain he was the one driving the crashed vehicle. According to the Associated Press, “The man arrested matched witness descriptions of the truck driver, but investigators haven’t been able to prove that he was in the truck’s cab at the time of the attack. Under German law, prosecutors have until the end of the calendar day following an arrest to seek a formal arrest warrant keeping a suspect in custody.”

However, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack through its news agency, claiming that the instrumental individual carrying out the job was a “soldier,” a term it’s used before when referencing lone wolf ISIS supporters. The Islamic State remains vague on how much it actually participated.

More information regarding the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey has been released. The gunman was Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22 years old and a member of the Ankara anti-riot police squad for more than the last two years. He fired nine shots into the victim’s back, before shouting his allegiance to jihad and then warning those present to not forget Syria and Aleppo. Altintas used his police status to gain entry to the event, a photography exhibition, avoiding metal detectors, after he arrived from a nearby hotel, where he had reportedly made sure to stylishly dress for the occasion. Currently, police are detaining Altintas’ close relatives, including his parents, sister and uncle.

Select families of victims of the Orlando nightclub mass shooting that took place in June are suing Facebook, Google and Twitter. The families say that the sites provided “material support” to ISIS. The lawsuit was filed Monday, in Michigan, and says that the three internet services make it too easy for ISIS to spread its message. This is not the first time such a lawsuit has been filed, though. Families of one victim of the Paris terror attacks last year also sued Facebook, Google and Twitter for the same reason. The same attorney is representing both cases. The lawsuit states, “Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible.”

As Obama makes his exit, a new poll rates his performance over the last eight years. About 18 percent of those polled say Obama was a “great” president, while about 33 percent called him “good,” and about half say he’s either “fair” or “failed.” The verdicts are split very heavily according to political party. About one-fourth say his greatest achievement in office is the Affordable Care Act (though the same amount called it his biggest failure), with about 22 percent saying the economic boost following the Great Recession was his moment to shine. As far as failures go, poll participants cited Obama’s dealings with the wars in the Middle East, as well as the ways in which he handled race relations.

In a televised interview yesterday, Michelle Obama vowed to assist in Trump’s transition, though in not so many words, while she criticized the way in which the Bush administration welcomed herself and Barack to the White House. “As I’ve said time and time again, words matter. And they matter most to our kids. And the words that we say moving forward — all of us — it matters, which is one of the reasons why Barack and I are so supportive of this transition. Because no matter how we felt going into it, it is important for the health of this nation that we support the commander in chief. Wasn’t done when my husband took office, but we’re going high, and this is what’s best for the country. So we are gonna be there for the next president and do whatever we have to do to make sure that he is successful because if he succeeds, we all succeed.”

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