Berlin was rocked by tragedy yesterday, as a tractor trailer barreled through a crowded market full of Christmas shoppers. Twelve have been confirmed dead with at least 48 more injured, and according to sources within the German intelligence community, the event is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
As a member of NATO, Germany has played an active role in the global war on terrorism since it began, and Germany’s most elite special forces operators, the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK), have been on the front lines of Germany’s anti-terrorism efforts throughout. Germany’s competitive selection process and extensive training regimen has crafted what many consider to be one of the premier special forces military organizations on the planet, engaging terrorist organizations the world over and playing a particularly active role in Afghanistan since 2001.
It would seem Germany’s participation in the war on terror may have earned them the ire of organizations like ISIS, who were reported to have claimed responsibility for the Berlin attack only hours after it occurred. If confirmed, this would be the first large scale terrorist attack in Germany of the modern era, though the German government has been on high alert as a result of smaller attacks within the nation that have been tied to ISIS in recent months.
Germany has been characteristically tight-lipped about the policies governing their elite fighting force, the KSK, even within their own government, prompting some to call for increased transparency regarding the tactics and targets the KSK engages, but this muddy water may allow Germany’s most elite anti-terror fighters to participate in the domestic investigation and possible pursuit of anyone that aided the Berlin attackers.