Peters on Berlin Christmas Market Attack: German Police 'Really Screwed This One Up'

December 20, 2016

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters told Fox Business' Trish Regan on Tuesday that German police "really screwed up" anticipating and preventing the Berlin terrorist attack on a Christmas market.

German authorities are still looking for the person who drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack the following day, calling the truck driver a "soldier."

German police had arrested a suspect but had to release him, citing insufficient evidence. Regan expressed concern on her show that the suspect who German police had in custody Tuesday morning was not the same person who carried out the attack Monday night.

"It sounds as though there's still concern they haven't gotten the right guy," she said.

Peters responded that Germany did not have the right person and would not charge him.

"The German police really screwed this one up, Trish," Peters said. "They actually had very specific warnings about a Christmas market in Berlin being attacked, possibly with a truck."

He continued to explain that this attack was "absolutely an act of Islamist terror."

"It was not a lone wolf attack," he said. "There was planning behind it, a cell probably. Maybe a large cell because this guy, I mean, they didn't go after a Christmas market in the old, medieval center of Nuremberg or Munich, where it's hard to the get a truck in. They picked the Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, where broad avenues and wide feeder streets come together, and you can maneuver a truck. Even somebody who doesn't know how to drive it can maneuver a truck into that Christmas market."

Regan then asked how this attack was missed and what German Chancellor Angela Merkel was doing during the time of the attack.

"So, how did they miss it, is that what you're getting at?" she asked. "I mean, what's going on with Angela Merkel? She obviously missed one big thing, in that she welcomed her refugees into the country, more than a million of them, and now they find themselves with real security threats."

Peters said that where Merkel was at the time of the attack was "ironic."

"Trish, last night when this went down, Angela Merkel got word of the attack while she was at a celebration dinner or event for the integration of refugees, so it was very ironic," he said.