Arson attacks hit Berlin for fifth day


BERLIN, Aug. 19 (UPI) — Vandals burned 11 more vehicles in a fifth day of arson attacks in Berlin, officials said Friday.

The incidents were “politically motivated” at first, then turned into copycat attacks, CNN reported.

“While the first attacks were concentrated on the district of Charlottenburg, more and more copycats are now trying to imitate the arson attacks in various other parts of the city,” police spokesman Guido Busch said.

The acts of vandalism raised fears in normally quiet districts of Berlin, political officials said.

“In my opinion, it is vandalism and we must hope that the offenders don’t cross the line to terrorism,” Dieter Wiefelsputz, a home affairs expert for the German Social Democratic Party, told CNN.

German police said they didn’t know who was behind the attacks and offered a $7,000 reward for leads that result in arrests.

Uwe Frers, founder and operator of the Web site “Burning Cars in Berlin” said he thinks class envy is behind the attacks.

“The burning mostly occurs in districts like Kreuzberg, Berlin Mitte or Friedrichshain. [The] inhabitants don’t like their rich neighbors, so they set their cars on fire,” said Frers, a travel company chief executive officer whose Web site has documented the incidents citywide.

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