Bastille Day is a national holiday in France and a time to celebrate. This year July 14 turned into a day of mourning. Eighty-six people lost their lives as a truck ploughed headlong through the crowd.
Five months later and the parallels have been drawn with the horrors in Berlin. It was the latest in a string of attacks in Germany.
But until Monday evening German police had been spared dealing with multiple deaths. In recent months security personnel had to deal with incidents committed by individuals.
On July 18 a 17-year-old Afghan, who was later shot dead by police officers seriously wounded four people with a knife on a train near Wurzburg.
Twelve people were wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the foyer of a concert hall in Ansbach on July 24. It happened when a 27-year-old Syrian detonated a bomb in his backpack.
The bomber’s asylum claim had been rejected but he had been allowed to stay temporarily in Germany and lived in the city in an apartment. He had received psychiatric treatment after allegedly attempting to take his own life twice.
In another incident police foiled an apparent attack planned by a 22-year-old Syrian. Investigators believe an airport was the target.
The suspected was arrested on October 10 after two days of searches by security personnel who had seized explosives. The police found bomb making material which was similar to that used in the attacks in Paris and Brussels in the suspect’s apartment in the eastern German city of Chemintz.
The police action came after a tip-off from Germany’s domestic intelligence service.
Two days after his arrest in Leipzig the alleged terrorist committed suicide while being detained in prison.
Last week the German police revealed details of two planned attacks by a 12-year-old boy of German-Iraqi background. He had tried to set off explosives in his home town of Ludwigshafen. He had reportedly been radicalised by an agent of the so-called Islamic State.
His targets: the town hall and a local Christmas market.